Directors and heads of organisations have been urged to leverage on prospects the agriculture sector brings with its potential for creating wealth to grow the economy , as well as tackle the growing unemployment in the country.
A fellow of the Institute of Directors and Chairman, Best Food Group, Emmanuel Ijewere, insisted that 75 per cent of Nigerians can earn their means of livelihood in the agriculture sector if properly explored.
He explained that most Nigeria erroneously believe that agric sector is about farming only, adding that farming constitute only 5% of entire agriculture chain.
Ijewere, who was the guest speaker at the institutes’ February 2018 new members’ induction, spoke on the theme, ‘A Director in an Uncommon Industry’, submitted that agriculture which created major source of employment was left as soon as Nigeria discovered oil.
The fellow who was a former president of the institute said: “Directors are champions and captains of industry. The assumption then was that agriculture was just farming, but today farming is just 5 per cent of agriculture. In the past 20 years, agriculture has become 90 per cent science and 10 per cent strength and energy.
To be able to achieve that you must have educated people. Some of the most educated we have in our country today are serving in boards of companies, they are shareholders in companies, they are decision makers, risk takers, therefore they should move towards agriculture value chain but not necessarily just farming, in so doing they’ll be creating a better country for Nigeria.”
Expressing optimism that the bill before the National Assembly for the chartership of the institute would soon be realised, the President and Chairman of governing council, IoD Nigeria, Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, disclosed some of the institute’s plans for the year which include the beginning of a robust and well-grounded advocacy programmes that will be based on good research and analysis in 2018.
To achieve this, Mohammed said IoD would engage government so as to influence policy contents and directions towards creating a more business-friendly environment.
He added that the institute and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have an on-going collaboration to train directors of companies listed on the exchange and to bestow annual corporate governance award on best compliant company.