Kogi State Assembly committed to improving the allocation of budgetary allocations in the agricultural sector in 2019 to ensure the achievement of the Maputo 2003 Declaration, which provides at least 10 percent for the sector.
Abdulkarim Kekere-Sani (APC-Okehi) and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives revealed this during a parliamentary briefing and presentation of an analysis of the budget for the agriculture sector Kogi in 2018 in the state capital of Lokoia.
The program was organized by the State Agricultural Finance (PFA) Budget Committee with the support of ActionAid Nigeria in cooperation with the PIBCID.
Kekrer-Sani said that the House will provide a tremendous improvement in the current percentage of 6.56 in order to increase agricultural production, diversify the economy and food self-sufficiency in the 2019 budget.
The chairman of the House Committee said the state government is committed to overall improvement in the agricultural sector, especially small farmers and women's participation in agricultural activities.
He stressed that the parliamentary briefing and presentation of the analysis provided members with an opportunity to clarify needs and called on all stakeholders to come together and correct errors in this sector.
Mr. Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Mass Communication Initiative (INGRA), presenting budget analysis and recommendations for the 2018 agriculture budget for 2019, said that Nigeria has more than 80 million hectares of arable land, of which only 40 percent is used (cultivated).
He said that the country's population of more than 180 million people made it the largest agricultural market in Africa, but the government at all levels is making little effort to make full use of the naturally secured agricultural potentials.
Aliya said that the country had not yet fulfilled the Maputo 2003 Declaration, which she still signed, with the commitment to allocate at least 10 percent of her annual budget to agriculture.
According to him, other sectors that stimulate the socio-economic development of the state, such as education with 11.93%, health care with 8.78%, government house with 17.47%, “Work and housing” with 13.55% placed over agriculture.
Aliyu noted that although in 2016 the consistent increase was 2.7 percent; 4.53 percent, 2017 and 6.56 percent in 2018, it is still less than the Maputo problem in accordance with the accepted international benchmark for African states.
In addition, Edoko Moses-Ododo (APC-Dekina-Biraidu), a member of the committee of the House of Representatives on Agriculture, called for timely budget presentation so that he could go through proper legislative processes and an early transition.
Mr. Victor Omofaya (APC-Ijumu) said that there should be a tripartite agreement between the Executive Body, the Legislature and the NGO as interested parties to identify the problems and properly address them.
Mrs. Dar Omoniva, ActionAid Project Manager and PIBCID Executive Director stated that it was important for the meeting to ensure that the annual budgets of this sector improve the impact on agricultural practices and farmers.