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Independence Day Ogbeh calls for scrutiny of international policies

Ogbeh gave the advise while speaking on the 57th Independence Anniversary of the country in an interview with the newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

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Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh


Mr Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has advised policy makers to be mindful of adopting international policies and ideas in the country.

Ogbeh gave the advise while speaking on the 57th Independence Anniversary of the country in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

The minister said the economy the country’S economy which was previously driven by agriculture and solid minerals in the 60s, was `simple and efficient’.

He said although the discovery of oil contributed to the abandoning of agriculture, some ideas given by some international organisations and adopted by previous governments were major causes of economic challenges in the country.

The minister said that the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), adopted in 1986 was a mistake which facilitated the devaluing of the country’s currency, deregulated interests’ rate and encouraged engagement in free trade.

“We should thank God that we are still together after 57 years, we should thank God that he has blessed this country with a whole lot of things.
“We should also look back and realise that we made very serious mistakes.

“We should also recognise that when people from outside give us advise whether on political, economic or religious issues, we need to take what they give us and digest them to meet our local conditions and circumstances.

“Sometimes, I think that there is far too much photocopy in intellectualism; IMF said this, World Bank said that.

“It is not everything they say that works. We are different people, we are Africans, and we will never be Europeans no matter how hard we try.

“They may have done certain things and succeeded with them, we don’t have to do it their way.

“The Indians and Chinese have proved very well, they remain themselves; they remain very indigenous, they copy the best and also adapted it for the best conditions of their people.

“The SAP was a terrible mistake; I will never stop saying so. The disaster is that our youths can’t find jobs. Those are the consequences of accepting advice without digesting them properly,’’ he said.

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He, however, emphasised the need for financial institutions across the country to reduce their lending interest rates to one digit to enable the youths go into agriculture.

NAN recalls that SAP was introduced in June 1986 by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida led administration.

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