Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has explained why Nigeria’s dwindling foreign exchange will continue to experience a decline.
He stated this on Monday, when he received the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who was on a courtesy visit at the Government House Benin City.
The Governor who identified insecurity and food challenges as some of the biggest problems facing the nation, said Nigeria would not be able to get sufficient foreign exchange, unless it cuts down on importation and improve on production.
“The economy of our country is not doing well and we all have a big role to play. Without us producing more for ourselves, we wouldn’t be able to sustain our current level of imports.
“It means that we will not be able to get sufficient foreign exchange to bring in what we consume. The exchange rate will begin to rise, the price of commodities will continue to go up and our people will dive more into poverty.
“In the first half of this year, we have spent N1 trillion importing food and it’s not sustainable,” he said.
As a way out of the economic logjam, the governor called for increased collaboration between government at all levels and the traditional institution to tackle the problem of insecurity and other challenges confronting the country.
“The traditional institution has a role to play, as we encourage our people to farm and produce more foods to feed ourselves.
“If we must tackle the security challenges facing this country, Government must work very closely with the traditional authorities who are well-grounded in the grassroots and know the people well to bring to an end the security challenges facing this country. We are already doing that in Edo State and the results are there to show.
“Government cannot do it alone; we encourage our young people to know that agriculture is a viable business in the country,” he added.
While commending the Ooni for his passion and commitment to the unity and development of the country, Obaseki assured that his government is fully committed to sustaining partnership with the traditional institution in the state, noting that Edo is the home of culture and tradition.
“We embrace the traditional institution in Edo State as they have a deep sense of understanding of the challenges and problems in our local communities.
“Edo State is the home of culture and tradition and we don’t joke with it. We hold our traditional institutions in high regard and will do all to protect, sustain and support them,” he said.
Earlier, the Ooni of Ife congratulated Obaseki on his victory in the September 19, 2020 gubernatorial election, hailing his government’s developmental strides across all sectors of the state.
Oba Ogunwusi assured the Governor that traditional rulers would continue to work with constituted authorities to move the nation forward, and advised him not to be distracted but to remain focused and double his efforts in making life better for Edo people, particularly the youths.