The President of Nigerian Philosophical Association (NPA), Prof. Jim Unah, has advised the Federal Government to revolutionise agriculture to create jobs and stem the rising rate of suicide in Nigeria.
Unah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that several Nigerians were depressed and desperate due to the current economic crisis in the nation.
NAN reports that a medical doctor, Dr Allwell Orji, on March 19, jumped into the Lagos Lagoon from the top of the 3rd Mainland Bridge and died.
Some others who had attempted to commit suicide after him were saved by the public at various locations across the country.
He said that several youths were leaving the country and dying inside migrant boats on the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross to Europe from North Africa in search of the greener pastures.
Unah, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Lagos said that the harsh economic environment had led some to commit suicide, other involved in social vices and other criminal activities.
Unah advised the government to revolutionise agriculture and run it as a business with different composite units and clusters to create jobs for several unemployed youths.
“Conditions that can cause idle minds to commit suicide are building up in Nigeria. Government should seriously invest in agriculture to encourage people to practice it.
“Giving loans will not solve the problem; government should also create agricultural extension programmes.
“Government should open up our forests, may be a 300- kilometre radius for example, and open it up.
“Put necessary infrastructure like electricity and roads there and then map it out land and encourage graduates from tertiary institutions to apply to cultivate them.
“Before long, they will produce more than enough produce for consumption and those governments can buy for storage in its silos for sale during scarcity,” he said.
He explained that apart from providing infrastructure which was a major constraint to farmers, government should set up processing plants which would increase shelf life of produce and create jobs for the agro-allied industries.
“Why exporting raw cocoa and cashew nuts when we can set up processing plants within the country and create jobs for our unemployed youths and at the same time process locally for export at higher rates,” he said.
He called for the restructuring of the nation by introducing healthy competition that would encourage growth among the regions to ensure speedy economic recovery.
He appealed to Nigerians to, in the midst of the current recession; watch out for each other’s welfare to reduce the possibilities of suicide.
The NPA boss lamented the rising cost of food stuff and inflation rates without any increase in wages, which he noted only a revolution in agriculture would reverse.
“I am in the academia and I have encountered people who have done odd jobs and are not paid,” he said.
NAN reports that the NPA is a body of teachers of philosophy and Unah was elected its current president in October 2016.