- To sustain, support, promote competitive agriculture
President Muhammadu Buhari (right), Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele (peeping, back row) during the tour of agricultural produce at the Argungu Agricultural Fair of the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival in Kebbi State…Thursday
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured of the Federal Government’s sustained investments in security to boost cultural and agro-tourism and attract more investments in the entertainment industry.
The President spoke Thursday in Argungu, Kebbi State, while declaring open the Argungu Agricultural Fair, which was part of the 60th and resuscitated Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival – a UNESCO World Heritage event.
He stated that the return of the festival after over 10 years of suspension, and other international festivals across the country showed more confidence in improved security.
Buhari noted that insecurity created a lull in tourism and entertainment for many years, with ripple effects on the economy, by restricting movements, gatherings and investments, and promised to promote policies that will stimulate more interest in tourism and entertainment.
“Our presence here is evidence of government’s commitment to restoring security and expanding domestic food production as core mandate of our programmes. Today, by the grace of God, this festival is back, and I hope back for good.
“We are not only celebrating the reinstatement of this important gathering, but also the remarkable progress made in restoring peace and security to this region, and indeed our country. It is also noteworthy that yesterday in Abuja a motor rally across five states, which will terminate here in Argungu, was flagged off.”
According to him, many such international festivals were being celebrated across the country, bringing all Nigerians closer together and improving collective appreciation of the nation’s diversity, while projecting the rich history and culture to foreigners.
“In both instances, massive jobs are created in the tourism sector, which we all agree is still not fully developed. We must therefore continue to encourage, support and promote such festivals.”
Meanwhile, the President said the government focused on food security by investing in programmes that will stimulate more interest in agriculture and improve farming system, noting that the return of paddy pyramids and multi-billion naira rice mills were some of the achievements since 2015.
“You will all recall that our food security programme started here in Kebbi back in 2015. The many products displayed here are also proof of the progress we have made as a nation in feeding ourselves.
“The farming, fishing and pastoral communities truly embraced our programmes and have proven that we can produce what we need.
“We established the National Food Security Council, which I chair, supported by the Governor of this state, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to ensure that all our successes to date are continuously improved upon.
He further commended the private sector sponsors and international development partners of the event, insisting that Nigerians have the capacity to solve the challenges facing the country.
“For our farmers, fishing communities, the livestock sector and agro entrepreneurs, you have truly made me proud. We shall continue to support you all with access to credit, adequate inputs, access to markets and policies that will promote and support your competitiveness.”
On his part, Governor Bagudu commended Buhari for rekindling confidence in agriculture, which has resulted in rising grain pyramids and employment, and provided an enabling environment for festivals to resume. He insisted: “We are not allowing those who do not wish us well to define who we are.”