it comes to formulating
policy Nigeria has what it takes
to be outstanding globally among
However, the implementation
of such sound policies expected
to better the lots of Nigerian
citizens has been the challenge of
successive governments, because
of lack of accountability and
transparency among officials
that has always been entrusted
with the realization of the
objectives of the policy.
Penultimate week, Federal
Government gave Nigerians
a ray of hope concerning the
rolled out measures that would
be taken to ensure transparency
and accountability in the
implementation of the Growth
Enhancement Scheme GES of the
present administration.
During stakeholders
preparatory meeting on
2016/2017 Dry Season Farming
in Abuja, the Permanent
Secretary in the Federal
Ministry of Agriculture & Rural
Development, Dr. Shehu Ahmed
said that the lessons learnt from
the implementation of the 2016
wet season GES which covered
twelve pilot states including
Adamawa, Gombe, Jigawa,
Kaduna, Kano ,Katsina, Kogi,
Imo, Rivers, Sokoto, Zamfara
and Federal Capital Territory
would be addressed in order to
ensure the effective and efficient
implementation of 2016/2017
dry season GES programme.
The Permanent Secretary who
was represented by the Director-
General National Seed Council,
Dr. Philip Ojo said measures to be
enforced to ensure the effective
and efficient implementation
include the use of tablet device
as a means of redemption by
farmers in order to eliminate
double redemption and sharp
practices; Implementation by
the Federal government alone
without the involvement of the
various state governments in
order to reduce the influence
of the state officials on the
redemption claims to be obtained
and late payment to the agro-
dealers /input suppliers; Stock
movement especially fertilizers
would be tracked by both the
Ministry and the Office of the
National Security Adviser in
order to provide the actual data
on fertilizers being delivered by
the suppliers to each agro dealer;
Introduction of input package
for each commodity value chain

Adoption of single commodity
value chain system to allow a
farmer to redeem input only on
chosen commodity value chain
which he/ she has comparative
advantage and intend to major on
(seed/fertilizer/ agro chemical
and only staff of the Ministry
state / regional offices will be
used to perform and take over
the functions and activities of the
supply chain management and
coordination component of the
GES in the various states among
Dr. Ahmed said the remaining
outstanding claims of agro –
dealers and input suppliers are
currently being reconciled for
payment while the Memorandum
of Understanding on the payment
of the Interest Draw down (IDD)
upon which loans will be given
to the agro- dealers and input
suppliers between the Central
Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry
would be endorsed.
He explained that the focus of the
2016/2017 dry season would be on
four (4) major crops namely, rice,
wheat, maize and groundnuts with
their input packages which would
be available at redemption centres
to ensure maximum output while a
total number of 1,500,580 farmers
are targeted to be supported
under value chains crops in the
2016/2017 dry season, namely rice
-1,197,240 farmers, maize- 65,055
farmers, wheat- 234,445 farmers,
groundnut – 3,840 farmers.
While enumerating the challenges
faced with the implementation
of the 2016 wet season GES
which ranged from the problems
associated with the use of tablets
for redemption, late deployment
of inputs due to scarcity of the
products, non- settlement of
the outstanding claims of agro-
dealers and input suppliers among
others ,the Permanent Secretary
expressed the hope that the
meeting would provide an avenue
for the implementation plan of
the 2016/2017 dry season GES
to be thoroughly discussed and
finalized. Earlier in his welcome
address, the Director, Farm Input
Support Services Department of
the ministry, Engr. Jatto
Ohiare Badams said the
meeting was apt for stakeholders
such as the state directors, agro-
dealers and seed companies
to brainstorm on how to move
forward. The Director said “The
present administration is looking
at improving GES so that we
get value for our money and the
inputs get to the farmers while
dealers benefit from the exercise.
For stakeholders to be in business,
it is very important to rub minds
together and discuss challenges
faced with especially during the
wet season and proffer solution so
that we will get a better position of
implementing the 2016/2017 dry
season GES”. In his contribution,
the National Chairman, Agro
Dealers Association of Nigeria,
Kabir Umar Faro sought for
more supports especially funds
and technology from the Federal
Government in order to boost
local production of fertilizers in
the country.
Meanwhile a lecturer with the
Accounting Department of the
University of Jos , Mr Tsenba
Wummen Bako, has predicted
that with the diversification
of the economy of the nation
as carried out by the President
Muhammadu Buhari, led
administration and governors
keying into it, there would be
abundant agricultural products
by the end of 2017.
Speaking in Jos the Plateau
state capital recently, the
university Don applauded the
Federal government for its plans
to introduce measures for fast
tracking procedures of getting
funds into the economy.
Bako also said that from what
is on ground in Plateau state,
the governor Simon Lalong
is already diversifying the
economy of the state by investing
in Agriculture , mining , tourism
and other sectors.
“To get quickly out of recession
Nigeria must also cut its
dependence on foreign goods,
increase local production and
enhance entrepreneur ship,
adding that these would help
save the local currency which
currently carries too much
Bako also expressed regrets
that Nigeria has failed to make
use of the huge opportunities
in agriculture, Mining and
manufacturing sectors in the
past .
He advised that “We should
cut the importation of food to
enable us develop agriculture.