Stuart Symington, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, has called for increased investment in Nigeria’s array of resources to scale up its economic capacity.
Symington who spoke during a courtesy visit to the director-general of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, said the country could derive quality benefits from its human and natural resources if well harnessed.
Commending the IITA’s research initiatives in the development of agriculture in Nigeria and Africa, he said: “Nigeria is filled with places, creatures of beauty; the citizens should appreciate God’s blessings in the country and guard the resources jealously. Every Nigerian should think of no other thing than what can be done to improve Nigeria and make it better,” he said.
Nteranya Sanginga, the IITA Director-General earlier noted that the institute plays a vital role in revitalising agriculture in Africa.
“For instance, 86 percent of cassava planted in Nigeria originate from IITA; it’s a pity that Nigeria spends a lot of money importing what we can produce in the country,” he said.
Sanginga also said IITA engages youths in agriculture through its agri-prenuer programme, urging Nigeria to improve its agriculture sector in order to attract youths into farming.
“We need to change the mindset of Nigerians about agriculture; there is need to make agriculture a business and not just a hobby,” he said.