New Telegraph

NGO, NASS mull 10% annual budget allocation to agric

To ensure Nigeria allocates 10 per cent annual budget to agriculture, an international non-governmental organisation, ActionAid, has disclosed its partnership with the National Assembly to guarantee that the country meets its commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, stated this at the National Parliamentary Briefing on Nigeria’s Performance in the 3rd Biennial Review (BR) Report in Abuja, recently. Obi said the briefing was aimed at advancing the Scaling- Up Public Investments in Agriculture (SUPIA2) Project implemented by ActionAid Nigeria and ActionAid International, adding that the partnership would promote and scale-up public investments in agriculture, both political and budget commitment, to drive inclusive, lasting agricultural transformation at the national and state-levels.

She said: “This parliamentary briefing will serve as an avenue to brief the committees on Nigeria’s past and current performance in the BR and provide recommendations that will help improve its performance towards meeting the Malabo commitment. “For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments the lawmakers should impress upon the three tiers of government to commit 10 per cent of their annual budgets to the agriculture sector. “This will be required to support at least six per cent growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“Investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit by women and youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, postharvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, training, market access) and climate resilience.” Also, Obi pointed out that parliamentarians needed to be abreast of programmes to support the review of the proposed agriculture framework in line with Malabo indicators that countries report in the BR to the African Union. On his part, Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Dandutse Mohammed, assured of NASS’ commitment to provide adequate oversight function, saying both committees would ensure the budget lines, programmes and activities of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and states ministries of agriculture were executed in line with the Malabo indicators.

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