Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, on Thursday, called for increased budgetary provisions to executive critical projects and programs that will stimulate national agricultural production.
This was disclosed during the 2022 budget defence exercise before the House Committees
on Agricultural Production and Services and Rural Development, at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The Minister, who resumed office after President Muhammad Buhari fired Mohammed Nanono and one other, on the 1st September, 2021, argued that, the ministry’s N291,416,466,723.00 for the year 2022 budget proposal, was inadequate as the overhead costs allocation to the ministry to meet its operational needs has been a major challenge.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, he said the Ministry has over 4,000 staff; Field Offices in the 36 States and FCT as well as six zonal offices, being run with the meagre overhead cost allocation.
He said, there was no synergy between the States, Federal Governments and the
private sector in the implementation of Agricultural Programs.
While noting that the ministry has not received any overseas development assistance, grants and aid from any donor agencies in 2021 fiscal year and may also not expect any in 2022 fiscal year; the Minister opined that government’s commitment to investing in agriculture and rural development remains the best viable option for achieving food security, lifting people out of poverty, and laying foundation for industrialization.
On revenue generation, he said in 2021 the Ministry generated a total sum of N526,599,605.28 from January to September, and it is projecting the sum of N547,853,930.40 as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for year 2022.
On key activities, he said the Ministry will, among others, establish model grazing reserves in select states and fast-track the recapitalization of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Cooperation and Bank of Agriculture in collaboration with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Bureau for Public Enterprise.
He said, “It is pertinent to state that the Ministry, having realized its strategic role in economy diversification agenda of this administration, proposed a total sum of N59,446,242,699.00 in the 2021 fiscal year, with the core mandates of the Ministry, having the sum of N46,990,970,709.00 in the 2021 appropriation act, though the total capital tor the Ministry was N71,026,340,846.00, the allocations for the Ministry’s core mandates was drastically reduced to N29,938,590,682.00 (36.3% reduction).
“The N29, 938,590,682.00 approved for the Ministry’s core mandates become inadequate to make the desired
impact in delivery of the ministry’s mandates. The total Budget Proposal for the Agriculture Sector in the Fiscal Year 2022 is in the sum of N291,416,466,723.00; with the sum of N71,840,009,245 as Personnel Cost, N3,704,219,404.00 as Overhead Cost while the sum of N215,872,238,074.00 is proposed for Capital projects and programmes.”
On his part, the Chairman of Committee on Agricultural services, Hon. Dandutse Mohammed, assured that they would work with all the MDA’s to ensure that they intensify oversight activities of the Ministry and Agencies to guarantee optimum performance and deliver the expected objectives of the programmes and policies.
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