By Nwafor Sunday
Following allegations of non-performance by the led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the social media aide to Mr President, Lauretta Onochie, Thursday, listed sixty-four (64) achievements of the current administration in the agricultural sector.
Her list however, has faulted the claims of many critics who have accused Buhari of failure since he assumed office in 2015.
Recall that Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, yesterday raised 14 posers for President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The campaign organization has charged the federal government to name one project started and completed by Buhari and also to list any visible achievement garnered by the All Progressives Congress, APC since 2015.
In view of the above challenge therefore, Onochie averred:
Below are the 64 achievements:
1) The anti-corruption drive of Mr. President put to a halt the exogenous leakages in the Agricultural sector to encourage, empower, and enhance the locally made farm produce thereby increasing our internally generated revenue (IGR) index and foreign exchange capacity and reserve to over $45 Billion in cash and bonds.
2) President Buhari initiated the Home Grown Feeding Programme which is designed to put an end to importation and market monopoly of farm produce that can be grown here in our country which is a pilot vehicle to sustainable economic, agricultural, academic and job creation across the length and breadth of our nation.
3) Under President Buhari, the Standing Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee on Zero-Reject of Agricultural Commodities and Produce / Non-oil Exports in Nigeria was inaugurated.
4) Under the Buhari-led administration, Nigeria has benefitted from 13.1billion Euros honeybee project.
5) The Buhari administration has commenced steps improving the standards of Nigeria’s agricultural exports to align with global standards due to the rejection of our produce at the EU Border Controls.
6) Under President Buhari, Standards and Quality Control measures have been developed in.
7) Under President Buhari administration at the end of 2016, agricultural goods as share of total trade got N212.73bn and 4.02 per cent and Agricultural goods exports were 2.7 per cent higher in Q4 2016 than Q3 2016.
8.) Under the Buhari-led administration, Sesame seeds contributed N6.46billion to Agricultural product exports in the fourth quarter of 2016.
9) In the fourth quarter of 2016, Frozen shrimps and prawns chipped in N4.4billion to Agricultural product exports under PMB’s administration.
10) Under President Buhari administration in the fourth quarter of 2016, Flour and meals of soya beans contributed N2.59billion to agricultural product exports
11) Under President Buhari administration in the fourth quarter of 2016, cashew nuts in shell contributed N0.95billion to Agricultural product exports with the Buhari-led administration.
12) Crude palm kernel accounted for N0.62 billion of the total Agricultural exports under the President Buhari administration in the fourth quarter of 2016.
13) Under the President Buhari administration the agricultural universities coordinating agency is being revitalised as stipulated in the enabling Act which will work closely with the Nigerian University Commission and development partners to re-focus the universities of agriculture in the country.
14) The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) programme was initiated by the Buhari Administration and it is aimed at bringing life back to rural communities through the empowerment of youth, women and other vulnerable groups across the country.
15) Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) Programme initiated by the President Buhari administration is geared towards promoting community-based on-farm and off-farm business activities as a model for job and wealth creation amongst unemployed youth and women in rural and suburban households.
16) Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) Programmes under President Buhari are expected to establish 150,000 cooperatives nationwide under commodity value chain groups.
17) Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) programme under President Buhari will establish and operate up to 1,000 cottage industries in the country, and ultimately engage about 1,995,500 youth and 997,500 women for enhanced productivity.
18) Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) programme under President Buhari would add about 5,965,000 metric tons of foods to the national food store.
19) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is an intervention of the Buhari administration aimed at fast-tracking access of rural farmers to finance productivity.
20) The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Buhari-led administration has made available N82billion in funding to 350,000 farmers of rice, wheat, maize, cotton, cassava, poultry, soy beans and groundnut; who have cultivated about 400,000 hectares of land.
21) The Buhari-led administration has made provision of agricultural credit for financing the production of rice, wheat, ginger, maize and soybeans in Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Benue, Zamfara, Anambra and Kwara States.
22) The Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) under Buhari’s administration has provided quantum of money for dry season farming in 2015, wet season rice and wheat farming in 2016 and is currently supporting the 2016 dry season farming in many states.
23) The President Buhari administration has commenced the use of National Soil Map Data, with the promotion of the use of soil-specific fertilizer formulations and application in prescribed dosages based on soil types following the conduct of soil mapping/test to enhance agricultural production and productivity.
24) Under President Buhari administration a resurrected interest in agriculture has awakened among small holder farmers.
25) Under the Buhari-led administration, Nigeria’s fertilizer market is growing.
26) The President Buhari administration has signed an agreement with the Government of Morocco for the supply of fertilizer raw materials on concessionary terms to boost local blending to facilitate making soil and crop-specific fertilizer blends available and accessible to smallholder Nigeria farmers.
27) The Ministry of Agriculture under President Buhari is facilitating the timely access of farmers to appropriate quality seeds.
28) The President Buhari administration has facilitated seed trading locally and internationally through the application of regionally agreed principles and rules.
29) The enabling environment for private investment in the seed industry has been created by the Buhari-led administration.
30) Under President Buhari, the National Irrigation Policy and Strategy has been developed and focuses on the need to overcome the irrigation challenges and put available irrigation facilities in the country into effective use.
31) The PMB Administration has assessed the status of infrastructure in all the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) hence, commenced immediate and effective use of the facilities for commercial farming.
32) Under President Buhari, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has been strengthened for improved delivery of services through consolidation and recapitalisation in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ensure loan disbursement at a single digit interest regime in the agricultural sector as obtainable in developed and emerging economies.
33) The President Buhari administration has approved the restructuring, re-capitalising and repositioning of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
34) The Buhari administration has secured the approval of a grant of $1.1 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture, aimed at staff training to strengthen service delivery.
35) The President Buhari administration has embarked on the re-validation of the claims of agro- dealers and input suppliers under the 2014 wet and 2014/2015 dry seasons to ensure that genuine claims are paid by the government.
36) The President Buhari administration has facilitated the payment of the sum of N20 billion, as part of the debts owed agro-dealers while efforts are on to fully settle the outstanding liabilities.
37) The President Buhari administration has established a N50 billion mechanisation fund to facilitate the second phase of Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) to roll-out 6,000 tractors and 13,000 harvest and post-harvest equipment units across the country.
38) With the Buhari-led administration, Tractors and Implements were rolled out in Ilorin and Abuja on January 12, 2016, to support targeted commodity value chains.
39) The rising spate of hostilities and attendant insecurity arising from clashes between crop farmers and nomadic herdsmen has raised serious concern within the government. Accordingly, the PMB administration has commenced efforts towards resolution of pastoralists-farmers conflicts through the provision of 55,000 hectares of land by 11 states as part of the 5,000 hectares each expected from the 19 northern states for the development of pasture/paddocks grazing reserves.
40) The Buhari administration has established 40 large scale rice processing plants and 18 High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCGF) plants with a stake commitment of China EXIM (85 per cent) and Nigeria Bank of Industry (BoI) (15 per cent) through concessional credit facilities of US$383,140,375.60 for the rice mills and US$143,722,202.40 for the HQCF Plants.
41) The President Buhari administration through the Ministry of Agriculture is embarking on a programme of distribution of rice mills, of ten tons per day capacity, 20 tons a day, 40 tons a day, 50 tons and a few 100 tons. Collectively between them, the capacity for rice milling will be close to 3,000 tons a day nationwide. That is expected to close the gap between paddy availability and mills to process it.
42) The President Buhari administration has established 10 large scale rice processing plants and 6 High Quality Cassava Flour plants to be owned and operated by the private sector and would be funded by the Special Rice Processing Intervention Fund and the WB Assisted Agricultural Development Policy Operation [AgDPO] Funds.
43) Through President Buhari administration, Real GDP in agriculture grew by 4.11 per cent in the year 2016, and this growth rate was higher than that recorded in 2015 of 3.72 per cent.
44) Under Buhari’s administration as captured by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), there was a continuing strong growth in Agriculture (especially Crop Production) in the Q4 of 2016.
45) Agriculture contributed 21.26 per cent to nominal GDP in the Q4 of 2016 and the sector grew by 6.45 per cent year-on-year under President Buhari administration.
46) In the Buhari-led administration, the contribution of Agriculture to overall GDP in real terms was 25.49 per cent in the quarter under review, higher than its share of 24.18 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
47) The Ministry of Agriculture under President Buhari administration also provided 2283 bags of industrial salt to hides and skin dealers in 12 targeted states.
48) The President Buhari administration placed ban on rice importation and that has saved Nigeria an average of $5 Million daily.
49) The growing success story on agriculture in Buhari’s Administration has prompted more youths to commence full production in agriculture.
50) More than 7 million Nigerians are actively employed in agriculture under the Buhari Government’s diversification agenda and the Ministry of Agriculture is working to ensure that Agriculture will offer 20 million jobs in the nearest future.
51) Nigeria’s milled rice production has increased by about 60 percent, from 2.5 million MT in 2015, to 4 million MT in 2017 under the President Buhari administration.
52) The Buhari-led administration set up the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) to deliver commercially significant quantities of affordable and high quality fertilizer to the Nigerian farmer at the right time
53) The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) under the President Buhari administration has resulted in the revitalization of 14 blending plants across the country, with a total installed capacity in excess of 2 million MT.
54) The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) under the President Buhari administration has resulted in benefits which will include annual savings of US$200 million in foreign exchange, and N60 billion annually in budgetary provisions for Fertilizer subsidies.
55) Under President Buhari administration, the current cumulative in terms of IGR generated through Agriculture since the fall in price of crude globally has placed agriculture as the best alternative for creating wealth and increasing our National Foreign Reserve to an all-time high.
56) Nigeria’s economy has since bounced back after the recession of 2015/2016 and has continued to grow back as the strongest stabilizing economy in Africa under Buhari-led administration.
57) Through the Buhari-led administration, agriculture is already ripe to be the next green oil and global gold the world has ever seen and the green-rush will lead all roads to Nigeria.
58) Buhari-led Administration has revived 11 moribund plants with a combined capacity of over two million metric tonnes.
59) In 2017 under the President Buhari administration, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) delivered 10 million 50kg bags(500,000MT) of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer at a price of N5,500 in time for the wet season which is down from the price of N9,000 per 50kg bag in 2016, a 40% reduction in price.
60) Under President Buhari administration there is a higher patronage for the country’s rail network due to movement of raw materials and finished goods.
61) Under President Buhari administration, the bag-making sector of the economy was boosted, with over 10million packaging bags produced exclusively for Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI).
62) The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) has been able to create 60,000 direct jobs and even a higher number of indirect jobs under the Buhari-led administration.
63) The Buhari-led administration has cut down on imports of agricultural products in order to enable self-sufficiency in food production and consumption.
64) Under President Buhari administration, The Green Alternative (TGA) was initiated, a major policy thrust to build an agri-business economy capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generate exports, support sustainable income and job.