Professor Pat Utomi has described the present recession being faced by Nigeria as a golden opportunity and not a problem, adding that it is an opportunity to finally get the Nigerian economy right.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of Integrated Produce City (IPC), a private initiative championed by him and other investors at Ugbokun community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, the renowned political economist, said the continuous fall in the price of oil would make the country realise its wealth in agriculture.
“Let me shock you by saying that the recession we face in Nigeria is a golden opportunity. It is not a problem; it is an opportunity to finally get the Nigerian economy right.
“So without appearing to scandalise anybody, I actually pray for oil prices to stay down and stay down for a long time. Then, we will come to our senses and we will know that Nigeria really is a rich country.
“Right now, we are not behaving as we should be behaving. Competitively-driven industrial policy in select value chains will be helpful in confronting the misery index and bringing hope to millions.”
Speaking further at the ceremony, Pat Utomi said Integrated Produce is unique first, because it aims to confront the biggest monster facing agriculture in Nigeria, which is yield losses – the poor returns that farmers get, as middle men scoop everything up, the profits that slip away in these kinds of dis-articulated markets and the poor infrastructure challenge that face people in agriculture.
Others present at the ceremony were Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman of the State Economy and Strategy Team and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki; the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Chris Okojie, and some members of the state House of Assembly from the area.