Nigeria: Council of State recommends $1bn increased funding for agriculture

President Buhari,(second left) with former Nigerian leaders, Generals Yakubu Gowon; Olusegun Obasanjo and Abdulsalami Abubakar .

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The Council of State has recommended that the Nigerian government increases its support for the agricultural sector to the tune of one billion dollars.

Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who revealed this to journalists, said the recommendation was given at Thursday’s meeting of the Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Council noted what is being done in the area of agriculture and it was advised that the country should improve on the funding for agriculture, which was paltry about $200 million and the Council recommended at least about $1 billion should now be pumped into agriculture. Indeed it was even mentioned that the $1 billion may not be okay, we are looking at maybe $2 billion, but of course, one billion dollars will be the starting point as against in two years. Now it was about $200m, whereas if you compare what is being pumped to subsidies our oil and all of that it runs to even trillions,” he said.

He said the Council observed that doing so would help sustain the successes already recorded in the agricultural sector.

Governor Amosun said the Council also commended the government for managing the country’s economy so well.

“The Council deliberated extensively on the nation’s economy and the efforts that were made to pull Nigeria out of the doldrums; Council appreciated the efforts put in place to move Nigeria away from recession and now gradually we are getting it right, that what is being done is very good and we should continue with the diversification trend,” Amosun stated.

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, who also briefed journalists, said the Council approved some appointments made by President Buhari for the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Population Commission.

“The Council deliberated and accepted the President’s appointment of the following vacant positions; the two non-legal practitioners to the Federal Judicial Service Commission, a National electoral Commissioner for INEC and also the 23 members of the National Population Commission,” he said.




Security

Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who briefed journalists on the security situation in the country, said: “On how to arrest insecurity in the land, there were so many discussions on this, ranging from how do we reduce out of school children, how to create more employment, how to bring youths to agriculture and other trades. The social intervention programme, how do we use it to create more employment, so that the level of youths in the states that might be used for one crime or the other will be reduced.

“And also we discussed the issue on those bandits that attack and go back to the forest. Usually, before each state operates on a state by state basis. But because the forests are long and cover so many places, if an operation is taking place for instance in Kaduna, they move through the forest to Zamfara or Katsina.

So it is advised now to have joint and sustained operations so that they will be flushed out of those forests. After that, see how best to create activities in the forests to prevent people from either kidnapping or rustling or stealing and run back to the forest and hide there.

The challenges being faced by the military and other security agencies have been discussed and even the proliferation of different agencies that are not interconnected working together was discussed, all solutions were proferred and I believe those solutions will turn into almost permanent solutions to the security challenges in the country and so also in the Niger Delta.”

The meeting was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and former Nigerian leaders, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Abdulsalami Abubakar (Retired), as well as some former Chief Justices of Nigeria and all State Governors.

The Council observed a minute silence in honor of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher, who died recently.