By Agency Reporter
The Nigerian High Commissioner to United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, on Thursday said it was unacceptable that Nigeria spends more than 10 billion dollars annually on food importation.
Tafida, who made the remarks at the annual briefing of the Business Council for Africa (BCA) West and Southern regions in London, also said the food import bill was unsustainable.
“This importation including fish, sugar, wheat and rice is a drain on our foreign reserves as a nation,” the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Tafida as saying.
The envoy, who spoke on the country’s quest to transform from a mono-cultural economy to a diversified one, said increase in agricultural production would revive the rural economy and reduce poverty.
“As you are probably aware, agriculture accounts for about 40 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product and over 70 per cent of employment opportunities,’’ he stressed.
Tafida, who also spoke on opportunities for foreign investments in the country commended government for the approval of the trade policy that would make visa procurement easier for businessmen and women.
He noted that the development would further boost and facilitate the inflow of investments into the country, adding: “currently, we have generated more than N6.6 trillion worth of investment commitments. ’’
Earlier, BCA Chairman, Mr. Gordon Hutt, said the council was at the forefront of promoting business opportunities in Africa, including Nigeria.
Hutt, however, noted that “there is so much negative perception amongst the European countries about doing business in Nigeria which must be corrected.”
He assured that the council would do its best to ensure that such perceptions were erased.
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