Prof. Joshua Olaoye, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE), emphasized the need for homegrown solutions to address Nigeria’s economic challenges. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Prof. Olaoye, a Professor with the Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Ilorin, highlighted that many nations have achieved development by looking inward.

He stressed that the solutions to Nigeria’s problems are within the country and urged the government to provide an enabling environment for local professionals and institutions. Prof. Olaoye expressed the institution’s desire to guide government policies and called for a greater reliance on the expertise available within the country.

The NIAE Chairman criticized the plan to import 2,000 tractors annually for five years to boost agricultural mechanization, advocating instead for the utilization of the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization in Ilorin. He suggested challenging Nigerian professionals to produce tractors locally, creating jobs and contributing to the nation’s development.

Prof. Folarin Alonge, a past Chairman of the NIAE, and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Uyo, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing agriculture as the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. He identified policy inconsistency as a significant challenge and called for a reduction in the nation’s thirst for foreign goods, promoting the patronage of locally made products.

Alonge cited the success of local rice production during the border closure, which was later eroded when borders were reopened, emphasizing the importance of supporting domestic industries. He urged the government to prioritize Nigerian products, citing the example of Innoson Motors, a local automobile manufacturer, as a showcase of the country’s capabilities in production.


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