President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the people of Niger Delta to shun oil vandalism and focus on farming for sustainable economic development and wealth creation in the region.
The President on Sunday, November 20, appealed to them to stop the destruction of oil and gas pipelines, which only served to destroy the country’s ecosystem and economy.
During his visit in Bayelsa for the 20th Anniversary of Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s Green River Project Farmers Day, held at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Yenagoa, Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, commended the unrelenting efforts of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, for proving that oil production and agriculture can coexist.
He appreciated the company’s efforts to support their host communities to focus on agriculture through the Green River Project, a corporate social responsibility initiative which has resulted in sustainable development in host communities.
Mr. Buhari’s statement at the occasion reads:
“The present administration is committed to doing everything possible to support Niger Delta to achieve their potential in farming which is far more than its endowments in oil and gas,” he said.
“The focus of this administration is to redirect attention to agriculture in its entirety and empower Nigerians in a productive and sustainable manner.”
He further pointed that Nigeria has an estimated 84 million hectares of arable land with an estimated 10 percent only being optimally utilised. Hence there is an abundance of land available for cultivation to meet the demand of about 170 million consumers in the Nigerian domestic market and the entire West Africa sub-region.
“Therefore, I appeal to the people of the Niger Delta region to embrace peace and focus on agriculture for sustainable economic development and wealth creation.
“I urge you to take advantage of the huge potential in agriculture and stop the destruction of oil and gas pipelines which only serve to destroy our ecosystem and economy.”