President Muhammadu Buhari has enjoined Nigerians to support his administration's effort in ensuring that agriculture is made the mainstay of the country's economy considering the falling price of crude oil at the international market.
Speaking while declaring open the 8th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium held at the International Conference Center (ICC) in Abuja, with the theme: 'Agriculture: action, work, revolution' President Buhari said the nation must start eating only what it can produce within its shores.
He said his administration had resolved to prioritize agriculture so as to ensure that the country is sufficient in the production of rice, wheat among other crops.
Apparently gauging the enormity of work to be done to better the lots of Nigerians, President Buhari said all hands must be on deck.
"We are going to hold ourselves accountable. We will measure results. There will always be some scepticism; some have even become disorientated and impatient enough to think that barriers are insurmountable. Anyone who claims great change is impossible can only look at it as an ordinary success."
President Buhari stated that the government would continue to invest in human capital development.
"We intend to organize an efficient market infrastructure that will make agriculture viable for investors. We are providing an enabling environment so as to ensure certainty and predictability for the private sector.
"We intend to also ensure that the market is fair and worth to transform small holder farmers from beggars to businessmen.
"Furthermore, we are going to keep focusing on improved nutrition for children. We know the effects of hunger and poor nutrition can last a life time. Children are thrown out of school to earn a living."
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) clocked 64 years and held the event to mark his birthday.
Eulogizing him, Buhari said the former governor had shown commitment and zeal to Nigeria's growth.
"There are very few patriots alive today that can match the commitment, zealous, creativity that Bola Tinubu has demonstrated in his contribution to national growth."
The president who commended the organisers of the Bola Tinubu Colloquium for the choice of the theme of the event on agriculture stated that the intention of the government was to create enabling environment that would bring viability on the economic potentials of the private sector.
The event attracted dignitaries from the society including: the vice president Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, wife of the celebrant, Senator Remi Tinubu, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, state governors of Zamfara, Osun, Ogun,Kebbi, Adamawa, Cross River, Bauchi, Lagos, Kaduna and Oyo.
The national chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Senator Smart Adeyemi, some ministers and other top government officials also graced the occasion among others.
In his remarks, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said that agriculture remains the only hope for the country after many years of dependence on oil.
He praised the present administration for the tough decisions taken to reposition the country even as he called for more support for the administration.