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Governor Otti Decries N7.8 Trillion Spent On Food Imports



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Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s expenditure of N7.8 trillion on food imports in the past six years.

News About Nigeria reports that Otti calls for the urgent need to establish agricultural ventures across the country to address food insecurity and promote sufficiency.

Speaking during a capacity-building training programme for the first batch of 300 candidates selected for agricultural training at CSS Global Integrated Farm in Nassarawa State, Otti said agriculture plays a role in curbing unemployment and fostering socio-economic stability.

Otti said Nigeria has vast arable land resources and lamented the exorbitant import bills incurred despite the country’s agricultural potential. 

He urged stakeholders to take the issue seriously and advocated for a paradigm shift towards promoting local food production.

“It is a shame that a country of over 200 million people with so much arable land, reputed as the largest producers and cultivators of food items, spends so much money importing food,” Otti said.

According to Otti, statistics indicate that Nigeria spent approximately N7.8 trillion on food imports over the past six years, with annual expenditures ranging from N1.9 trillion in 2021 to about N2 trillion each in 2022 and 2023. 

He called for prudent resource management, particularly when such a large portion of the national budget is allocated to food imports.

“The budget numbers were hovering around 7–10 trillion. So when you spend over 11% of your total buffet importing food, it is a big shame, particularly when you are blessed with land,” Otti added.

The two-week agricultural training programme aims to enhance local food production capacity and equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to spearhead agricultural transformation in Abia State. 

Otti urged trainees to leverage the opportunity and become ambassadors of agricultural development in the state.

Assuring comprehensive support from the state government, Otti pledged to cover all expenses incurred by participants throughout their agricultural training.