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Chief Audu Ogbe, former chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and prominent member of the farming community went on record to advocate that a higher import duty be placed on Champagne. This came after the release of statistics which confirmed that Nigeria spends nine billion Naira per annum on the importation of Champagne.

Chief Ogbe aired his views whilst giving a key note speech at a breakfast meeting facilitated by Quintessential Diamond Ltd. During his speech he suggested that treasury funded banks which support agricultural growth should be utilized to ensure low interest rates are guaranteed. He further stated that failure to make such changes may lead to problems in the not so distant future.

“With the current interest rate, you can’t manufacture. The next thing is, we have got to create special development banks. We had them before- NIDN and NBCI. They were there focusing on industrial growth. Some of these reforms have deformed this country’s growth. And those banks should charge one digit interest rates. This business of throwing the whole thing wide is not helping the country. I don’t care which economist is preaching this stuff. I challenge such an economist that since 28 years ago when we began this programme, poverty crisis has worsened by the day; we must have special banks funded by the treasury, targeting industrial and agricultural growth at one digit interest rates. Otherwise, we are heading for trouble”.

Chief Ogbe also spoke out on the need to minimize land conflict, promoting the implementation of land reform programmes throughout Nigeria: “There is a need for a land reform programme in every state because the Federal Government has no land. The states have no land. The state governments should sit down, study the social and local environments and bring out more laws to make life easier for those who want to invest in agriculture”.

He further stated that unless every state starts to take responsibility for the promotion of agriculture in Nigeria that Nigeria as it is currently known will cease to exist! “Yes, it is true. You can get land today and tomorrow somebody turns up and says well the person who sold it to you was my uncle and he has no right to sell it to you and so on. But every state must examine its own conditions and decide what it wants to do because if we don’t deal with agriculture, there is no way Nigeria will continue to exist”. It would seem that it is time that we all stood up and took a stand in the hope of saving our great nation and boosting its economy through the growth and promotion of agriculture.

For more information on Nigeria’s annual spend on Champagne and the measures which need to be put in place to save the economy, read the full article at: Click here

Drinks.ng supplies the full range Champagne and sparkling wines; for more information on our comprehensive suite of beverages see our website: Drinks.ng

By Stephanie Murphy

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