At a time when oil price continues to fall with its attendant devastating effects on the economy of oil-dependent nations, Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners’ Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo has said that agriculture, not crude oil, holds the greatest prospect for the African continent.
Speaking at the 6th matriculation ceremony of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Irepodun local government area of Kwara State, Bishop Oyedepo specifically said the economic outlook of Nigeria was gloomy given the prevailing drop in the prices of crude oil at the international market.
“With the all share index and market capitalization dropping, excess crude account shrinking, foreign reserve dropping and the Naira band being devalued, it is obvious that the economic outlook for Africa’s largest economy appears to be gloomy,” he said.
“Hence, nothing can be more apt and timely than the vision of Landmark University which is to become a leading world-class institution by spearheading an agrarian revolution on the African continent through the exploration of hidden treasure in the mother-earth thereby restoring the dignity of the black race,” he added.
According to him, “food insecurity is a major global concern as over one billion people are suffering from starvation, under and malnutrition.”
Quoting United Nations Foods and Agriculture Organisation, Bishop Oyedepo, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State, Prof Kayode Ayo noted that “almost all the hungry people (780 million) live in developing countries representing 12.9 percent or one in eight of the population of developing countries.
“Regrettably, Nigeria has transitioned from being a self-sufficient country in food to being a worrisome net importer of agricultural produce.
“This dire situation calls for urgency in rejuvenating agriculture sector as viable alternative to the dwindling oil dependent economy. Economic diversification holds great potential to increase Africa’s resilience and fortune. The path to unlocking prosperity in Africa lies in promoting effective agro-business strategies.”
The university at the occasion matriculated 513 students from colleges of agriculture, science and engineering as well as business and social sciences.
By Pita Ochai