The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, (LP) Peter Obi, has told scholars at Oxford University, the United Kingdom that Nigeria’s arable land is her new oil and gold.

The former Anambra State governor while delivering a lecture on “Trends and Prospects of Nigeria’s Economy: Broader implications For Africa’s Development” promised that his government will introduce reforms that will transform the agriculture sector to meet the benchmarks set by the United Nations in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target year.

Peter Obi who lamented the uncultivated forty percent of fertile land in the country, said that his administration will make huge investments in the agricultural sector to feed Nigerians and the rest of the world.

He said:

“My country—richly endowed with God-given resources—has over 84 million hectares of arable land. To put this in geographical context, Nigeria’s arable land is larger than the entire land mass of Turkey. And barely 40% of this arable land is cultivated today.

“Nigeria’s arable land is her new oil and gold. The Obi-Datti administration, from its inception, will continue to encourage investment in infrastructure – energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors. We are eager to quickly close the infrastructure gap between now and 2030. That is the Nigeria and Africa that we want by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals target year.

“With the kind of reforms that my government will make, we will ensure that investment—both domestic and foreign—will grow our agriculture sector to feed Nigerians and the wider world,”

Speaking on the issue of corruption and investment protection, Obi said his administration will tackle the issue of corruption head-on by soliciting the help and support of the international community adding that enforced legal frameworks will be employed to protect foreign investors and their local partners. He continue:

“It is no secret that corruption has been endemic and one of the biggest obstacles to our economic progress in Nigeria.

“We are not proud of this, and my administration, when we come in, will tackle this challenge head-on. We will have zero tolerance for corruption. You can expect a sledgehammer approach.

“We look forward to the international community supporting Nigeria’s efforts to promote economic growth and social inclusion; to boldly tackling corruption from its roots.

“Furthermore, we will enforce the legal framework protecting foreign investors and their indigenous partners. This is the only way to tamper capital flight.”

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