Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development disclosed that the nation’s agricultural sector had witnessed an appreciable growth in the face of economic recession.
The Minister disclosed this during the handing and taking over ceremony between the former Permanent Secretary, Dr Shehu Ahmed and the new Permanent Secretary, Dr Bukar Hassan in Abuja.
He stated that the agricultural sector has grown at 4 percent , thereby contributing positively to the nation’s economy.
According to him “In the last 16 months we have been working together to try and get ministry to take over the destiny God has placed on it, to be the engine room of the transformation of our economy from mono-product in oil and gas to be one that is dependent on real production engaging a large number of Nigerians, this last sixteen months have been tough, we all came new and it took us a while to settle down, but we want to say we have achieved quite a bit in this last sixteen months and we must give honor to him for the role he played. Agriculture is growing at 4 percent in an economy with recession”
The Minister while welcoming the new Permanent Secretary called for a team working order to build a strong economy through the sector, saying that, Agricultural sector is one of the sectors that engage a large number of people.
He disclosed that the Federal Government would soon distribute a hundred rice mills to farmers saying that, “presently rice growers is numbering up to 12 million and we should expect more in the nearest future in the country”.
The Minister further said “We welcome you to hard work and long hours of work, we welcome you to the dream of this country to diversify the economy, this is a place where great things have started happening and it will continue.
“This is one sector of the economy that engages many people like other, rice growers alone numbered up to 12 million and the numbers are increasing, we are about to give out a hundred rice mills in the course of the year; we are beginning to feed not only Nigeria but West, North and Central Africa. As I speak to you, lorries load of rice from Adamawa, Ebonyi and from there to Central Africa, let’s work together let’s build a strong agriculture economy”.
Chief Ogbeh intimated the new Permanent Secretary on the Ministry’s programmes and informed him that the Federal Government through the Ministry had brought life to the rural communities with rural farmers giving testimonies about their outputs from farming and disclosed that food processing mills would be established in every rural community in the country before the end of this year.
The new Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bukar Hassan noted that Agriculture is the key in the change agenda of the present administration and expressed the readiness to improve on the achievements of his predecessor to transform the Nigeria’s economy through the sector.