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Babayemi Calls For Government’s Massive Investment In Agriculture, SMEs

First Bank Nigeria

A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Joseph Babayemi, has appealed to the government on the urgent need for the diversification of the nation’s economy with government’s support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and massive investment in agriculture in order to accelerate the growth of the economy.
Babyemi, who stated this early in the week, noted that the nation’s long neglect of agriculture since the discovery of oil poses a huge threat to the country’s socio-economic development, stressing that the government should doo everything to help the country’s agriculture sector to grow so that it can contribute to the nation’s drive for self-sufficiency in food production.
He, however, lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the forex window it recently created for investors and exporters (Investors’ & Exporters’ FX Window), adding that with the introduction of the special window, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators would no longer have to patronize or source forex through unofficial windows.
The financial expert stressed that the country was endowed with high quality agricultural products that government should provide with necessary assistance so that when exported, this would enable the country begin to reap the benefits of agricultural exports, more so that it would earn foreign exchange for the country.
Babayemi further noted that with investment in agriculture, the nation would cease from being an import-dependent economy, more so that with the much needed government’s support and funding, Nigeria’s agricultural products would, no doubt, gain international acceptance.
He charged the government to urgently consider the reintroduction of agricultural plantations like rubber, cocoa and other agricultural products, which would turn the country from a consumer nation to an exporter of high quality goods and other basic food items in earnest.
The chartered accountant, however, emphasized the need for government and stakeholders in the nation’s agriculture sector to synergise towards ensuring improvement in the quality of agricultural products to be of international standards as this would have direct impact on the nation.
While calling for support to improve the lives and well being of the nation’s rural communities and improvement of infrastructure like steel, rural transportation and power, the financial expert urged the government to checkmate the trend of inflation in the country by not only ensuring the reduction of the people’s dependence on imported goods, but by also creating an enabling environment that will be attractive to investors and small scale business owners in order to have positive effects on the naira, provide job opportunities and bring down inflation to an acceptable limit.
Babayemi, who noted that the country was blessed with enormous human, material and natural resources, counseled the government to give urgent attention to the raging unemployment situation in the country by encouraging entrepreneurship and innovations as a way of creating new products and market demand, as well as give necessary support to small and medium business owners in the areas of funding, accessibility to raw materials and technical training.

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