Nasarawa: Stakeholders want more allocation to agriculture in 2025 budget

Nasarawa: Stakeholders want more allocation to agriculture in 2025 budget

By Faith Awa Maji 

Stakeholders from Nasarawa North Senatorial Zone have called on the state government to allocate more resources to agriculture in the 2025 budget.

This, they say, was to help address the current food inflation being experienced in the country. 

They made the appeal at a Citizens’ Budget town hall consultation organised by the state’s Ministry of  Finance, Budget and Planning, on Friday in Akwanga, Akwanga Local Government Area.

The stakeholders representing various groups including Civil Society Organisations, farmers, youth, market women amongst others were drawn from Akwanga, Nassarawa-Eggon and Wamba Local Government Areas of the state.

Mrs Hanatu David, representing the Smaller Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), said allocating more funds to agriculture would ensure the provision of more inputs to farmers to boost productivity.

According to her, lack of agrochemicals and other farm inputs is an impediment to the productivity of farmers, especially smallholder farmers in the state.

David also noted mechanisation was crucial to harnessing the huge agricultural potential in the state, hence the need for more resources to the sector in the 2025 budget.

Also, Mrs Hassana Sunday, 

President, Market Women Association, Akwanga LGA chapter, said  increased budgetary allocation to agriculture would enable more farmers to benefit from government interventions to improve their yield.

Sunday emphasised the need to  empower women farmers and  entrepreneurs by providing them with soft loans  to grow their farms and  businesses. 

On his part, Mr Akolo David, the Secretary, National Youth Council of Nigeria ( NYCN), appealed to the state government to open up rural roads to enable farmers to transport their farm produce from the villages to the markets.

Alaku also urged  the state government to construct more skills acquisition centres to train the teeming youth on vocational skills that would make them self reliant.

“This will go a long way to address the rate of unemployment and reduce youth restiveness in the state,” he said.

He also charged the government to prioritise the training and retraining of teachers, especially primary schools to improve on the standard of education in the state and country at large.

Speaking separately, representatives of different Tribal Associations in Akwanga LGA, Adigizi Anzaku Ekomki and William Allu Vincent , both appreciated the state government for including their inputs in the 2024 budget, especially for renovating the Akwanga Youth Centre as well as constructing rural roads across the zone.

They, therefore urged the government to provide basic facilities in the youth centre to make it viable. 

In her remarks, Hajiya Munira Abdullahi, Commissioner for Finance Budget and Planning, said the town hall consultation was organised to ensure that the 2025 budget reflected the input and contributions from the citizens.

She was represented by Alh. Ahmed Mohammed, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Banking and Finance.

According  to her, the World Bank, through the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results (P4R) and  the State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER), had urged states to adhere to a uniform protocol using various indicators such as transparency of the budgeting process. 

“This programme is designed to support Nigerian states in implementing a Fiscal Sustainability Plan. 

“All states are expected to execute Public Financial Reforms in key areas, including increasing fiscal transparency and accountability, strengthening domestic revenue mobilisation, enhancing efficiency in public expenditure, and ensuring sustainable debt management.

“It is crucial that the voices of the people are heard and incorporated into the state’s plans and actions. 

“Engaging the citizenry in meetings like this is a vital step towards achieving this goal, as it brings in their inputs and supports the government in delivering quality services down to the grassroots,” she said.

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