The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), has inaugurated a 28-member Nigeria Agro Set-Up Committee with a mandate to reinvigorate national agricultural activities across the country.
This is part of the plans to lead the charge and target of $250b in export revenue for the country by 2040.
According to the PriceWater Coppers (PwC’s) report, between 2016 and 2018, the country’s total agriculture exports was driven by sesame seeds, fermented cocoa beans, cashew nuts, ginger, crude palm kernel oil, soya beans, frozen shrimps and prawns, among other commodities.
The Committee chaired by Chief Executive Officer of ABX WORLD, Captain John T Okakpu, is an assemblage of representatives of the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), private sector agro industry technocrats, high flying managers, retired agric related multinational practitioners, agric export logistics experts, agric-based scholars, government bureaucracy experts, senior military officers (active and retired), who are expected to innovatively position the agric value chain for improved exports.
Members of the committee are: Arch Kabir Ibrahim (AFAN); Brigadier General Kapeh Alwali Kazir (Nigeria Army); Prof. Obiora Edwin Madu (Multimix); Prof. Simon Irtwange (FUAM); Prof Charles Asadu (UNN); Abdulkarim Kaita (Dangote Group); Mudiaga Okumagba (FedEx/Red Star); Lieutenant Colonel Benedict Ugbuji (Nigerian Army); Ifechukwu Anajekwu; Jane Machunga; Ogunfunmilayo Oluwole (NAQS); Ernest Ihedigbo; Eniola Elizabeth; Amede Achingale (AWEP) and Wing Commander Shuaibu Hamza (Rtd).
Others are Deputy Controller of Customs Suleiman Chiroma (Customs); Dr. Chinyere Akujiobi (FMARD); Idowu-Ogbo Medaiyedu, Esq (FMF); Kamal Mustapha; Olatunji Lawal; Dr. (Mrs) Gloria Ahmed and Mrs. Hindatu Adbul; Tony Ifeakandu and Alhaji Ismail Tahir.
While inaugurating the committee on June 18, 2020, the Permanent Secretary, FMITI, Dr. Sani-Gwarzo, charged members to collaborate with relevant government agencies to facilitate the purchase, certification, and transportation of agricultural commodities from the farm-gates to the points of exit.
He said the country needs a system that can control, facilitate export and entrench international acceptance standards.
This, he said, can only be achieved through synergy between the Ministry, relevant MDAs and private sector.
Also, a work plan of five to 10 years with targets and time lines will be developed to boost production for sustainability purpose.
“This is a very welcome development as it would stimulate developing agricultural commodities export thereby generating more jobs and foreign exchange.”
Responding on behalf of the Committee members, the Chairman, Okapku said they would work assiduously towards the set goal, which is to recognise the need to promote and encourage interest of agriculture in Nigeria.
He said that they would work vigorously towards inculcating in the youths a sense of patriotism and nationalism, serving the immediate community and other countries with agriculture produce, which will compete favourably in international markets and to promote and educate the generality of Nigerian farmers on the best practices of agriculture.