Nigeria contributes 0.05% of UK’s £30bn food imports
by Josephine Okojie
November 1, 2017 | 1:22 am| | | Start Conversation
As a result of the Federal Government diversification drive, Nigeria is now contributing an insignificant 0.05 percent of the £30 billion United Kingdom (UK) annual food import bill.
Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development made this known during his keynote address in a recent breakfast meeting with Bank CEO’s in Lagos in preparation of an upcoming Economic Recovery Agri-Agro Summit.
“The Minister of agriculture was in the United Kingdom recently and he had a meeting with the minister of trade who told him that UK’s total food import is £30 billion and Nigeria contributes only £16 million to that,” Lokpobiri said.
“Before now we where importing $22million worth of food. There must be a paradigm shift and the only way we can deploy our equally agreed sustainable wealth in Nigeria that will be in the interest of all of us is to invest in agriculture,” he added.
The minister for state for agriculture stated that the government is committed to partner with the private sector to raise funding for the sector, saying that it will help farmers boost productivity and expand on their farmlands.
“Food business is a big business in the world. For it to be successful in Nigeria everybody must be involved. The private sector is to lead and government is to support by creating the enabling environment to drive the growth,” the minister said.
“We have identified challenges in the agricultural sector and the gaps responsible for massive importation of food items, fast depletion of the foreign reserve and increasing youth unemployment and we are working on bridging the gaps through various policies, programmes, projects and collaborations,” the further stated.
According to the national Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria total value of agricultural exports in q2 2017 stood at N261.9 billion representing 4.6 percent of total trade in the quarter.
The data from the report also shows that cashew export top the agro export for the period with N13.5 billion worth of goods.
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