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Experts seek concrete actions, facts from Nanono, Agric Minister

Among the federal Ministers that are found to be making momentary comments without clear focus has been the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono.

Two weeks ago, he announced that the Federal Government is planning to introduce mechanised agriculture across the federation, but failed to give, at least facts and figures on how his ministry has programmed the take off in terms of pilot states, target products, plans on first set of tractors, training programmes and partnering agro machines manufacturing companies.

Whereas many analysts see the minister as making official comments without the required facts, figures and official readiness, they also decried that the steps were exactly same steps taken by former Minister of Agriculture, Elder Audu Ogbeh, who came and left with dead yam export programme.

Again, during the last week visit to his office by the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, the same Minister stated that the ministry would begin agricultural mechanisation programme in 632 Local Government Areas in the country.

Whereas he was fast in telling Nigerians what the economy will gain from the farm mechanization scheme of the federal government including food security, job creation and economic growth, he was mute on whether the said scheme, which is multibillion naira is captured in the 2020 budget.

The minister did not give further explanation on when the machines for the mechanization process would arrive the country and from where they are coming.

Business Hilights recalls that two weeks ago, the Minister, while addressing Ogun State Government delegation, assured that Federal Government would be collaborating with Turkey on mechanised farming technology transfer, but failed to give clear inventory on how the entire partnership is going to work out.

Now, addressing the Benue State Governor, he again limited the number of local government areas that should benefit from the mechanised farming to 632, leaving 142 LGAs without any known reason.

Analysts say such momentary official statements that lack facts and figures create strong doubts on the sincerity and seriousness of a government in critical investments like mechanised farming.

Besides, observers say with the federal campaign on economic diversification using agriculture since 2015 under the President Muhammadu Buhari government, it would amount to mismatch or misplacement of priority if it after five that the administration is thinking or preparing to introduce mechanized farming after all.