Africa must cut reliance on food imports, says Nigerian billionaire
Nigeria’s oil and gas billionaire, Emeka Ekwueme, has warned it must cut its dependence on food imports to meet global challenges.
Ekwueme, who is Africa’s largest investor in the oil and gas sector, in a conversation with The Telegraph, said that even though Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, it needed to diversify its sources of energy so that the country can sustain itself.
He said if Nigeria continues to import food from other countries, like Egypt and Malawi, the country will fall behind and become dependent on them, and eventually, the country’s economy will collapse.
Ekwueme, who is chairman of the Ekwueme family, which has control over some of the largest oil and gas projects in Nigeria, is a senior member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Ekwueme family controls the Enercare group, which currently serves as the sole investor in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and has an interest in the gas and oil sector.
Speaking about the need to diversify sources of supply, Ekwueme said: “We are already the biggest oil producer. We are already the number two in Africa as far as liquids production.
“I think the need to diversify our sources of energy is an absolutely central reason why the country still remains at a low level of economic development. I don’t think we will make much progress, let alone get out of the crisis it is in at that moment.
“You are not going to get out of this crisis by relying on imported food. It is like trying to be independent of water.”
“I don’t know where are you going to get the food from. There are so many questions we need to answer.
“The current situation is that the people are not buying. That is why we are so worried.