Unemployment fueling rising banditry, kidnappings in Nigeria — Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said unemployment is fueling the rising spate of banditry and kidnappings in Nigeria.

Obasanjo stated this at the 9th International Trade Exhibition & Conference on Agrofood, Plastics, Printing, and Packaging in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said, “Of course, if we are able to achieve this, it will improve our security. Part of our insecurity are men and women that are not properly engaged.

“If we are able to give them employment, there will be less of them getting involved in banditry, in kidnapping and in doing various other criminal activities that they get involved in,” he added.

The former president, who described himself as ‘a mad man for agriculture,’ said there was need to promote agribusiness for food security, nutrition security, employment, wealth creation, poverty elimination and income generation, particularly, foreign exchange.

He noted that the drive toward food security in the country must encapsulate food availability, affordability and accessibility.

Obasanjo said, “A friend of mine said to me, you must be a madman. I asked him what he meant, and he said if I was not a mad man I would not have gone into agriculture. So, I am a madman for agriculture. When it has to do with agriculture, you can be sure that when you call me, I will answer.

“Food security starts with availability. We must be able to produce enough. Then there is affordability. We must be able to get everybody who needs food to be able to get the food that they need. Then there is accessibility. We must get food to where it is needed.

“Almost 40 per cent of our food go to waste after cultivation. So, food security and nutrition security makes agribusiness important.”

Obasanjo noted that one of the most potent means of curbing youth emigration, unemployment and insecurity is to get more young people to embrace agriculture.

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