The Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Agro and Non Oil Sector, Wale Oyekoya, has said that agriculture stakeholders were eagerly awaiting the appointment of an agriculture minister to know the next policy direction for the sector.
Mr. Oyekoya also advised the Federal Government to stop inconsistent policies on agriculture.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria yesterday in Lagos.
He was reacting to the likelihood of government reversing the restriction of buying foreign exchange to import certain food items like rice, fish and wheat, among others.
According to him, the restriction is already causing price hike on the affected food items.
“This is one of the government policies that the organised private sector is talking about; some of the policies are not sustainable. Government formulate a policy and barely one year it is already contemplating to change it. I believe that government should carry stakeholders along when formulating agriculture and other policies that affect everybody, especially food security in the country.
“The right thing is for government to have given importers up to three years to bring in some critical food items and at the same time encourage the local production of such items,” the chairman said.
Mr. Oyekoya remarked that it had been difficult for investors to set up full agro processing factories because of the government inconsistent policies. He noted that potential investors were afraid of the high risk of investing in a nation that is not consistent with its economic and agricultural policies.