Mr Augustine Okeke, Executive Director, Leadership Engagement and Research Network (LEARN) says only diversification on agriculture would take Nigeria out of urban over congestion and economic woods.
Okeke told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja that Nigeria’s comparative advantage in education and tourism ought to be developed to eradicate poverty in the country.
He said that it was time to position visionary leaders at the state and local levels to engender economic innovations at the rural areas.
“Our cities are over congested today because the localities and rural areas lack good leadership.
“Agricultural investments should be put in place at the local level to decongest the urban area,’’ Okeke said.
Okeke, who described the country’s over dependence on petroleum and mono economy as the bane of poverty, said that only agriculture could genuinely empower the people.
According to him, more than 50 per cent of Nigerians are living in abject poverty and only agriculture can make job and food available.
He urged governments at the state and local levels to begin to invest in agriculture, tourism, education and arts for stronger Nigerian economy.
Okeke said that state and local governments with ideas had the capacity to strengthen the economy by creating jobs and opportunities at the grassroots.
He said that while other countries of the world were shifting from dependence on petroleum, Nigeria should urgently diversify for a stable economy in future.
“electrical cars are gradually replacing petroleum engine cars and we are still depending on oil.’’
The leadership consultant however restated the need to attract agricultural and tourism investments to the rural areas not only to depopulate the urban communities but lay stronger economic foundation.
NAN reports that many of Nigeria’s cities such as Lagos are over congested as a result of daily movement of people from the rural areas searching for white collar jobs.