Stakeholders in the Nigeria Agricultural sector have called on government to implement effective price control to protect Nigerian farmers as well as ensure cohesive pricing for consumers.
This was the position of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Chairman Board of Trustees ( BOT) Nigerian Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria(NAFN), Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
The Senator made the call in his opening remarks at the 2017 and 10th anniversary of the National Agricultural Show and World Food Day, which began in Keffi Nassarawa state, on Monday 16 to end Thursday 20,2017 with the theme: Agriculture for Sustainable Economic Diversification and Growth is apt and poignant.
In his words”Today there is a reawakening and some people whom God has blessed with necessary capital and expertise are now beginning to go into agriculture and by the time they settle properly we would have been able to transit from peasant to modern/mechanise agricultural production”
Expressing optimism that with the direction of the present administration in agriculture Nigeria would get there,he however called for the need for major steps to be taken in addressing some of the issues in the sector.
“What Nigerian farmers are expecting is that their commodities should have price,they should know when they produce,what price they are going to get, either by tonne by volume or whatever to be set by the government which he said is lacking at this point in time”
The Lawmaker added that since the abolishing of the marketing boards which government very ably used for the marketing of its produce,there has been no alternative to it, adding that there is a huge vacuum which is why the sector has been having the kind of problems in regards to pricing, warehousing and marketing of products
“It is our hope that in order to give our efforts the necessary push, government would need to address those issues” he said
Also speaking, the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria(AFAN), Architect Kabiru Ibrahim said “It is instructive to note that Nigeria is in the process of implementing a green alternative agenda( APP) which espouses the need to change the mindset Nigerians to envision Nigeria as capable of making economic growth through Agriculture in the main as against relying on oil.
“This is both challenging and interesting to do. It is challenging because we are being asked to cast our mind to the 50s and the late 60s when Nigeria’s economy was sustained by agriculture and Interesting because our current population calls for innovation” he said.
The Farmers president said “for the nation to be able to have food sufficiency, food security and overall economic growth sustainably”Nigeria must deploy agricultural technology by embracing Biotechnology: encourage the use of genetic engineering to evolve seeds which will resist drought, resist insects, striga infestation,increase yield and enhance wellness of the consumer ”
He said “the nation must further adopt good agricultural practice, Seek foreign exchange through processing, create the enabling environment to bring about additional cultivable land and give the farmer a slot on the actual drivers’ seat of the Green Alternative Policy: involve the farmer in the nitty gritty as he knows where shoe pinches etc”
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,Dr Bukar Hassan recalled that the World Food Day was established during the 20th Session of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO/UN) Conference in 1979.
Chief Ogbeh said the ultimate objectives of the celebration is to heighten public awareness on hunger,focussing attention on Agriculture and food production,stimulating government and non governmental efforts to promoting the transfer of the technologies and encouraging rural participation especially women and youth in agricultural related decision making processes
The Minister assured that over the years the ministry had imbibed the culture of promoting best practices in agricultural development through improving access of farmers to inputs and credit facilities in rural areas, employment generation, building a national extension system and driving agriculture through commodity value chain approach.
•Embattled IGP Ibrahim Idris
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have demanded the removal and prosecution of Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police (IGP), over allegations of corruption and having affairs with junior officers levelled against him by Senator Isa Misau.
Making the demand at a press conference held in Abuja on Sunday, the group under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Integrity and Justice (CCSGIJ), also requested the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to impress it on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the IGP is removed mandatorily within the next five days.
The coalition comprised of Lawyers Integrity Crusade Network (LICN), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Youth Democratic Congress (NYDC) and other civil society organisations.
According to the group, it is a big disservice to the country if the allegations against the IGP will be treated with kid gloves as it insisted that the allegations standing against the police boss were overwhelming, adding that it was high time he exited the force to salvage the image of the police.
IGP Ibrahim Idris had come under intense criticism lately owing to avalanche of allegations levelled against him by the senator representing Bauchi Central, Isah Hamma Misau.
Misau alleged that the Inspector General of Police was engaging in promotion racketeering and taking bribe as much as N15 million before posting commissioners of police and state mobile police commanders.
He said the police boss allegedly received N10 billion monthly from oil companies and other private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency.
The police boss was also accused of having illicit affairs with female officers and arranging secret marriage with one ASP Amina whom he allegedly promoted over her superiors as a reward for her illicit relationship with him.
The said woman is said to be pregnant for the IGP and that he has conducted a secret marriage with her.
The coalition said, “Mr. Idris has lost integrity and the moral standing to lead the Nigeria Police Force”, while calling for his removal from office.
The group also insisted that the government must ensure the embattled police boss is removed from office in the next five days.
“That the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice performs his duties creditably by advising President Muhammadu Buhari to remove IGP Idris from office within five working days, from Monday (today),” the group said.
The coalition also frowned at the continuous sealing off of the national headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, since the arrest of some national officers of the corps on February 28, 2017.
According to the group, the Peace Corps office was sealed off by the police for nine months running, based on mere allegations, adding that the force has no moral ground to clamp down on youths based organisation such as Peace Corps of Nigeria.
“We fear that, the posture taken by IGP Idris against the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its leaders, if not checked, is capable of leading to a chaotic situation where the overwhelming population of Nigerian youths who are benefiting from the corps could take the law into their own hands to obtain justice”, the group noted.
The group, therefore, called on the police boss to order the immediate reopening of the Peace Corps office and cease forthwith “the needless harassment of its officers across the country”.
Should IGP Idris remain in office in the next five days, the group threatened to occupy the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with the whole might of the Nigerian youths and civil society organisations. (Independent)