Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has urged the people of the state to explore investment opportunities in Agriculture as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to contribute their quota to the economic development of the Food Basket of the Nation, Concise News reports.
He made the call on Tuesday at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi during a courtesy visit on him by a delegation from the Benue State Branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led by its Controller, Abba Bulus Ibrahim.
The Governor stated that investment opportunities abound in fishery right from production and the entire agriculture value chain, stressing that cultivation of maize and other cash crops in commercial quantities could also serve as raw materials and provide employment opportunities.
He stated that his administration had recently constituted a committee to explore potential investment opportunities that could help develop the economy, pointing out that the government would sensitize and encourage the people to venture into such areas that would improve their earnings.
The Governor commended the CBN for its interest in the development of non-oil economy especially agriculture, saying his administration would collaborate with the apex bank to become one of the fish production hubs in the country.
The CBN branch Controller, Abba Bulus Ibrahim stated that the bank was intensifying collaboration with relevant stakeholders to boost production, thereby reducing import bills and creating jobs along the value chain of ten major agricultural commodities including fishery.
He stated that Nigeria with its large expanse of marine and inland water resources could become self-sufficient in fish production if necessary steps were taken to properly develop and increase investment in the subsector.
Ibrahim lamented that Nigeria loses about $1.2 billion annually to importation of fish which also slows economic growth and causes loss of employment.
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