NIRSAL, NACCIMA Partner to Create Policy Linkages to Implement the Agriculture Component of the ERGP
NIRSAL Plc organized a two-day conference in partnership with Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) to create technical frameworks for the implementation of the agricultural component of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP).
This conference which is the first of its kind set the tone for participants representing segments of the agricultural value chains to enumerate and explain their challenges and propose solutions for mitigating them.
With value chain financing highlighted as the major problem facing the Nigerian agricultural sector, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, in opening the conference, stated that “the need to mobilize investments into the agricultural value chains is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to increase annual agricultural growth from 4.1 percent to 8.3 percent by December 2020. This”, he further stated, “would represent an average growth rate of 6.9 percent across the 3 year growth plan”.
According to him, Nigeria has all the natural resources to thrive in agriculture, but the sector lacks the capital with which to maximally meet the opportunities. He noted that NIRSAL aims to “increase commercial bank lending and other private investment from the current stance of 3 percent to about 10 percent by 2026”.
The conference had in attendance the Wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Oshinbajo, who spoke to the hearts of agriculture experts, urging them to not only create an enabling environment but to also effectively execute every plan put in place to make the sector viable.
Also in attendance, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, spoke both authoritatively and passionately about effecting changes in the Nigerian agricultural sector, hammering on the need to engage potential farmers and agriculture specialists across all ages and creeds. Nigeria, he said, has to achieve landmark success in agriculture to secure the food of generations to come.
The youths were not left out of the conference as they participated in a plenary session that raised issues most young entrepreneurs face venturing into agriculture. In reacting to the issues raised by the plenary, NIRSAL’s MD/CEO, Mr. Abdulhameed, promised to handhold the young people and assist them through their interactions and plans to carve niches for themselves in agribusiness.
The co-hosts of the conference, NACCIMA National President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, and Chairman Kunoch Holdings Ltd, Mr. Pascal Dozie, made speeches that gave the conference a deeper thrust.
The conference ended with the formation of a Conference Implementation Task Force (CITF) comprising parties from NIRSAL, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the implementation office of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan. The taskforce is to take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations drawn from the conference.
The MD/CEO of NIRSAL declared that NIRSAL Agribusiness Financing and Investment Summit (NAFIS) will hold in 2018 to, amongst other things, review the achievements of the conference’s objectives, and re-launch energies for future milestones.