The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, said on Friday Edo State can generate more than 200,000 jobs and millions of dollars in foreign exchange from cultivation and palm oil processing.
Emefiele stated this at the first convocation lecture of Edo State University, Iyamho, Auchi.
In his lecture titled: “The Role of Monetary Policy towards Economic Growth in Nigeria,” the CBN governor said agriculture was one of the surest ways of growing the economy.
He said during the peak of the oil crisis, Nigeria earned close to $23 billion from exports of crude oil in 2017 as against Indonesia which earned close to $22 billion from palm oil export within the same period.
He said: “I am indeed delighted that following our intervention with palm oil producers, over the next few years, annual production of the product in Edo alone will be in the realm of 350,000 metric tons.”
Emefiele noted that Nigeria had large arable land that could be put to good use in the cultivation of not only palm oil but also cotton, cocoa, tomatoes and rice, among others.
The CBN governor added: “We intend to leverage on unconventional monetary policy tools to improve local production of these commodities, as growth in Nigeria’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors is critical in our efforts to create a diversified wealth base for the country.
“It will also help to insulate our economy from the volatility associated with changes in crude oil prices.”