Akeredolu and Indian Hemp Revolution in Nigeria

Amudipe Marcus

Nigeria is set to legalize Indian Hemp, this comes as a good news following the intense criticism which the initial move was subjected to two years ago when the Executive Governor of Ondo State first made a move to ensure that the federal government of Nigeria legalized it for pure medicinal and industrial use. The move by the House of Representative to legalize the substance was revealed by the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu. 

With the ever dwindling economic strength of the nation, which has in no small measure grossly affected the nation’s federating units, it has become highly sacrosanct for major stakeholders, both public and private to begin to look for viable alternatives to generate and boost their respective revenues. The realities of the socio-economic cum political discourse of the nation is already pointing to the fact that the dependency on crude oil is not sufficient enough to help drive the nation’s economy.

 This reality perhaps had dawned on the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN. when he led the advocacy, demanding that the federal government legalize marijuana. A move that generated a lot of reactions from Nigerians home and abroad, while many had resorted to using the moral compass to criticizing the move of the Ondo State Governor to legalize marijuana due to the fact that it is a banned substance, a substance which has been largely abused by many people especially the youths, others saw not just another veritable means for ensuring massive economic wealth, but as another means to have a firm control of the substance which is largely grown in various areas and communities in the state.

According to verified market research, the Global Industrial Hemp Market was valued at USD 5 Billion in 2019 and it is projected to reach USD 36 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 34% from 2019 to 2026. Also the value of Africa’s legal cannabis market could be worth over USD 7.1 Billion. Fellow African nations like South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho have all already keyed into this growing market by legalizing it.

Laws are made for humans and not man for law, Nigeria has all it takes to become a big player in this new emerging market if only it will resort to logics over sentiments or emotions to legalizing Cannabis for both medicinal and industrial use. With the current rising value of this substance, it will be a great benefit for the nation to key into this growing market which will see to the creation of an alternative means of generating more money for the nation.

There are thousands of secrets farms across various cities and towns in Nigeria who are illegally growing this commodity, imagine the huge economic growth this will offer to both the citizens and the government if the commodity is legalized and people are encouraged to start the planting of cannabis using the international standards and procedure that will see them produce products that are of global standards which can be exported and also processed for huge economic gains. Also considering the huge economic wealth that this commodity has to offer all Nigerian, this might actually be the game changer in the battle to see that the youths do not jeopardize their health buy smoking Indian hemp, when you compare what you stand to gain by selling cannabis on the international market to what you gain by smoking it, it will be easier for them to make the better decision by following the economic viable one.

There is a lot to be gained through the legalization of Indian Hemp in Nigeria, we must follow reason and not subject ourselves to just emotions in judging or dissecting issues, the Executive Governor of Ondo State must be applauded by taking the first move to legalize this, members of the Nigerian House of Assembly has taken this step forward by pushing for its legalization as stated by Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, a member of the Green Chamber from Abia State. Nature has once again present us with another opportunity to have the new crude oil with us, a money spinning and economic reviving one, we must never let this slip away.     

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