By CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA—The Supervising Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Arch. Dairus Ishaku, has disclosed that Nigeria was spending N1.3 trillion annually on importation of food into the country.
Ishaku, who revealed this while speaking at the reception held for 100 Niger Delta youths trained in Israel in various fields in agriculture at Israel Skills Acquisition Centre, ISAC, yesterday, in Abuja, charged the trainees to put their knowledge into practice in order to boost food production in the country.
Describing the trainees as future economic elite of the Niger Delta, in the face of recent crude oil discoveries around the world, the minister said: “This is particularly a likely scenario in view of the recent survey which shows that Nigerians spend N25.5 billion daily in purchasing food.
“The amounts to a hefty N9.3 trillion annually, 86 percent of which is spent on food grown in the country. Only N1.3 trillion or a mere 14 percent of the total expenditure is spent on imported food.”
“This means that you will be part of, and definitely, reap from, this huge domestic food market. So, I strongly urge you to remain focused on and get fully involved in the agricultural sector, using your newly acquired skills to navigate it profitably.”