The Guild, which made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of its 12th All Nigerian Editors’ Conference, ANEC, held at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt from August 3-7, 2016, acknowledged that there is currently a major problem with the nation’s economy which caused by over- reliance on crude oil and gas sales receipts, stressing that concerted efforts must be made to revive and develop agriculture, which has the potential to create jobs and prosper the country.
The Conference, attended by about 300 Editors from across the country, had as its theme, “Economic Diversification: Agriculture As Option For A Prosperous Nigeria and was chaired by former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and declared open by the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike..
The resolutions of the Guild are as follows:
1. That there is a serious problem with the nation’s economy as a result of over-reliance on oil and gas as source of revenue for the country and that there is urgent need to diversify the economy
2. That agriculture is the most viable option to adopt to revive the nation’s economy, create employment for the army of unemployed youths, and usher in prosperity for the country and its peoples
3. That agriculture has suffered serious neglect as a result of negative mindset, reliance on outdated methods and gross underfunding
4. That the media has a major role to play in efforts to redirect the consciousness of Nigerians especially the youth towards embracing modern, technology-driven agriculture
5. That government must urgently evolve or strengthen policies that protect local farmers against influx of foreign agricultural products and encourage local production for food sufficiency and processing of raw materials for export
6. That skills needed for agricultural production and processing should be stressed above mere certification for the sake of it
7. That government should quickly recapitalize and make more functional the Bank of Agriculture and other institutions relevant to the agricultural programmes of the country
8. That formation of more Farmers’ Co-operative societies should be encouraged while those already in existence should be strengthened to improve on their productivity
9. That states should collaborate in the areas of agricultural production and processing, using the areas where they have comparative advantage
10. The Guild lamented the decline in the quality of journalism practice and non-adherence to the ethics of the profession and called on Editors to make efforts to redress the situation in their different organisations.
11. That, based on a motion moved by Malam Sani Adamu, a member of the Standing Committee and seconded by Angela Agoawike, Fellow of the Guild of Editors, Mrs. Funke Egbemode was ratified as President of the Guild.
12. That, based on careful observation of the state of affairs in Rivers State, the Guild commended the government and people of the state for the level of security and infrastructural development as well as for the steps being taken to promote agriculture in the state.
13. The Guild also appreciated the hospitality of the government and people of Rivers State