Senate Wants 10% Allocation Of Annual Budget Revenue To Agriculture

Mustapha said the senate and house committees on agriculture production, services and rural development were concerned about the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

Senator Godswill Akpabio is the Senate President/ Photo credit:
Senator Godswill Akpabio is the Senate President/ Photo credit:

The Nigerian Senate has urged the executive to ensure allocation of at least 10 per cent of total annual budget revenue to agricultural production.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture Production, Services and Rural Development, Sen. Salihu Mustapha (APC-Kwara) made the call in Abuja on Monday, at the joint budget defence session of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Mustapha said the senate and house committees on agriculture production,
services and rural development were concerned about the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

He, however, said that despite the challenges, the sector remained the largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from non-oil sector with over 20 per cent.

He decried that the budget allocation to the sector remained a far cry from
the 10 per cent of the nation’s budget in accordance with the Maputo
declaration, to which Nigeria had committed to.

“The agricultural sector has the largest potential to lead millions of
Nigerians out of poverty and provide the much needed food security.

“It is, therefore, imperative that the sector should be given
the utmost priority in national economic policies and future budgets.

“I, therefore, call on the executive to exercise the political will to
allocate at least 10 per cent of the national budgets and revenues
to the agriculture sector,” Mustapha said.

He said the budget defence process was not only important but also sacrosanct.

He said both chambers of the 10th assembly had demonstrated readiness
and commitment to work together in order to pass the 2024 Budget
in good and desirable time.

Mustapha commended the efforts of President Bola Tinubu and
the executive for its desire, to revert to Jan. to Dec budget cycle.

This, he said, would enable the Federal Government to provide
the laudable objectives of physical infrastructure and socio economic services to our people.

“By this commendable effort, both the public and the private sectors
will benefit from a budget cycle that is not only reliable but also
predictable for planning and execution of their fiscal and financial
policies and programmes.”

He assured of the committee’s willingness and commitment to treat the budget process with the sense of urgency and responsibility it deserved.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari listed the ministry’s achievement in 2023 to include procurement and distribution of 324,718 kilograms of certified maize seeds to farmers clusters in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Kyari said the ministry distributed 2,300 tomato production, pests and diseases management packs to 2,300 resourced poor smallholder tomato farmers in 10 tomato producing states affected by Tuta Absoluta in 2022 dry season production.

He listed the states to include Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue.

He also listed establishment of Rubber Rural Resource Centres (RRRC) with processing technology with a capacity of 1.85, including installation and training of farmers clusters in Ogun .

“Procured 3,000,000 doses of Anthrax Spore Vaccine for the prevention and control of Anthrax in Nigeria, conducted disease surveillance and investigation for trans-boundary animals and zoonotic diseases such as Anthrax, Avian Influenza, Rabies, Bovine Tuberculosis and African swine fever.”

He said the ministry registered over 2,351 fertilizer operators across the country using the National Fertilizer Management e-portal platform which generated direct and indirect employment over the years.

Kyari, however, decried inadequate budgetary provisions to execute critical projects and programmes that would stimulate national agricultural production.

According to him, less than two per cent of the national budget was committed to agriculture as against 10 per cent agreed by Africa Heads of State at the Maputo Declaration.

He also decried inadequate overhead costs allocation to the ministry to meet its operational needs.

According to him, effect of climate change and unprecedented flooding in most parts of the country, has greatly interfered with agricultural activities in most agrarian communities.

The Interview Editors

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.