Sokoto Leads with N14.6bn Benue, N9.9bn Katsina, N8bn:
From Ibrahim Goronyo (Sokoto), John Shiando (Makurdi), Dan Amusingha (Minna), Jude Dangwam (Jos), Nicholas Justus (Kaduna), Tunde Oyekola (Ilorin), Julius Atabor (Lokoja), Hisham Habib (Kano), Abubakar Abubakar (Lafia)
In a move to diversify their economies and reduce over dependence on the Federation Account, the 19 Northern states are committing over N100billion in 2017, to develop the agricultural sector in the region.
DAILY ASSET investigations across the 19 Northern States revealed that each of the Governors is according priority to agricultural development as a deliberate strategy to diversify revenue sources and shift emphasis from the Federation Account which is funded about 80 per cent with accruals from oil revenues.
Among the states, Sokoto is committing the highest amount of N14.6 billion representing 5.7 per cent of the state’s 2017 budget approved by the State House of Assembly.
Benue state, also christened “Food Basket of the Nation” is investing N9.9 billion to agricultural operations, while Katsina came next with a plan to spend N8.5billion or 9 per cent of its 2017 budget on the sector.
While Borno is committed to spending N7billion or 2.8 per cent of the budget on agriculture, Kwara is committing N6.7billion or 19.7 per cent of its 2017 expenditure on the sector with Plateau State intends to spend N6.1billion or 8.7 per cent for the same purpose, just like Jigawa, which is also spending N6.1billion or 2.4 per cent of its budget on the agricultural sector.
The states have outlined various progarmmes and projects in the sector from land clearing, procurement of machinery, irrigation to rain-fed farming, livestock development, fisheries, poultry, processing and storage of crops among other projects in their respective states.
For instance, governors of the North-West geo-political zone(Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, and Kebbi) who met in Abuja last weekend under the auspices of North-West Governors Forum signed a charter on large scale agricultural activities, a move which the governors said was intended to urgently diversify the economies of their states, trigger an agricultural revolution through accelerated socio-economic integration process in the zone.
DAILY ASSET learnt that under the deal, the states would embark on aggressive development of vast lands for agricultural purposes under the supervision of Arewa Research and Development Project, which will serve as project consultants.
Niger State’s Budget For Agriculture
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Sani Bello has earmarked N3.244billion naira for Agriculture in 2017 out of the N108.09 billion approved budget for the fiscal year representing.
DAILY ASSET’s analysis of the figures submitted to the state House of Assembly which was signed into law by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello earlier this year show that the allocation showed a slight improvement over the 2.7 billion approved for the sector in 2016.
In the sectoral allocation, the state government intends to rehabilitate five irrigation schemes in some locations across the three senatorial districts and also procure and distribute assorted fertilizers across the state at highly subsidized rates to boost agricultural activities this cropping season.
It was also gathered that, the state government intends to rehabilitate some feeder roads in some select rural communities with a view to making them accessible all year round for evacuation of farm produce at the end of the cropping season.
According to the budget projection, the state government will encourage the teeming populace of farmers to participate in the CBN anchor borrowers programme which is expected to capture no fewer than 15,315 prospective farmers in 2017, which the CBN and Niger state Government would commit about N2billion.
The state government is also proposing to construct a new abattoir in the state capital, Minna while, efforts will be made to complete another under construction at Kontagora and equip the Veterinary clinic at Tagwai community to serve the livestock needs of farmers in the area.
Niger state with a population of 3, 950,245 according to the 2006 population figure and seating on a land mass of 74,244 square kilometers has ten percent of the total land mass of Nigeria and about 85percent of the population are into subsistence farming.
The state also has two soil types, the KU soil and Ya soil, the KU has little erosion hazard while, the Ya soil has better water holding capacity for agricultural purposes Making it one of the states at the fire front in the ongoing agricultural revolution in the country.
Plateau State’s N6.1 billion Budget For Agriculture
The Plateau State Government in its 2017 budget size of N139. 4 billion allocated the sum of N6.107 billion to the agricultural subsector representing 8.71% of the capital estimate.
Major Areas of intervention include, “Subsidy on fertilizer procurement, N2 billion; subsidy on tractorization, N1.6billion; Special intervention programme on agriculture N500 million and general livestock receiving N543 million.”
The Plateau State Agricultural Development Programme is to be resuscitated with an allocation of N427.6 million, while the sum of N376.5 million has been earmarked for College of Agriculture Garkawa for its various projects including Landscaping, construction and renovation of the institution’s hostels respectively.
Kwara budgets N6.7Billion for Agriculture in the 2017
Kwara state government has proposed to spend a total sum of N6.7billion on Agriculture in the 2017 budget.
The estimated amount represents 19.7 Percent of the total approval of N135,064,529,461 for the fiscal year.
Some of the key areas which the budget targets in the Agricultural sector include provision of Tractors and land clearing equipment, procurement of Fertilizer and chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides as well as focusing on Fadama projects.
The budget is geared towards provision jobs for the teeming youths and encouragement of peasant farmers to boost agricultural productivity.
Benue: Agriculture Sector Gulps N9.9 billion in 2017 Budget
In Benue, out of the total budget of N176.6bn approved for the 2017 fiscal year, agriculture which is placed under economic sector is allocated the sum of N7.6 billion made up of N6.4bn for capital expenditure, while recurrent expenditure stands at N1.3 billion.
Breakdown of the of the budget’s capital expenditure for agriculture shows that Land and building, which will take care of Storage facility in Ukum, Katsina -Ala, Gwer, Guma among other things will gulp N1.2 billion.
Infrastructure, which includes construction of 14 dams in Katsina Ala, and Guma, for irrigation farming will consume N1.1 billion;
Under Plant and machinery, 150 farm tractors (75HP) and another 100 farm tractors (60HP)are expected to be acquired with the sum of N1.2 billion while other plants and machineries, knapsack sprayers, machines for organic fertilizer plant, etc, will take the remaining N260 million.
Fixed asset is expected to consume N3 million, while specialised assets which provides for purchase of cattle and feeds, tree planting, swine, crop improvement project, fertilizer among others will consume N1.1 billion.
Assets which are under construction in the sector like Agro service centre, Abattoirs in Gboko, Otukpo, Ushongo, Ogbadibo, Katsina-Ala, and rehabilitation of Agricultural Training Centre, Mbatiev is expected to gulp 1.5 billion naira.
Parastatal under the ministry of agriculture, including Benue Agriculture and rural Development Agency, BENARDA, Benue Tractor Hiring Agency and college of Agriculture Yandev in their separate budgets also consume a total sum of N2.4 billion. Put together the Agriculture sector in Benue take sum of N9.9 billion out the total figure of N176.6 billion approved for 2017 fiscal year.
Agric Budget in Kano
The Kano state government in its 2017 budget as approved by the state house of assembly stands at N217.9 Billion out of which the agric ministry was allocated the sum of Eight billion Two hundred and twenty four million,five hundred and twenty seven thousand,five hundred and eighty six naira (N8.224,527,586.0).
The state government had emphasized its commitment to rice and wheat farming in 2017. According to the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, the government is set to spend N200million on rice production with a target of 2 million metric tonnes this year.
He said agriculture extension is a key area and that new extension workers will be recruited while motorcycles will be provided for them to reach out to farmers.
However, a Kano based livestock expert Muhammadu Jamilu said the state government needs to improve on its policy on livestock saying last year, the sum of N100 million was set for livestock and animal rearing but the result was not impressive. He urged the state ministry of Agriculture to double the expenditure on livestock citing specific areas where partners have offered support like dairy and dairy products as well as pasture.
About Seven months into the fiscal year, the Adamawa state Ministry of Finance is yet to make public, the sectoral allocations for the 2017 budget already approved by the House of Assembly.
The budget which was passed by the State House of Assembly on January 16, 2017 stands at N120.4 billion higher than the N105.459 billion presented by the state Governor, Senator Mohammed Umar Jibrilla Bindow.
Although the breakdown is yet to made public, Agriculture would likely have its fair share going by the provisions of the 2016 Appropriations Act.
Nasarawa’s Budget And other Initiatives In Agricultural Sector
In compliance with section 121 sub-section 1 of 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended, Nasarawa state governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura officially presented the State Assembly, the sum of N67,013,057,753 billion as 2017 budget estimate of the fiscal year.
The budget which is tagged Budget of Reformation shows that N3.04 representing 4.5 percent of the the total estimate would be expended on agricultural programmes in the state.
While presenting the budget in December last year, Governor Al-Makura said government will put in place necessary mechanism in place in order to stimulate the economy to provide support to the informal sector by enhancing the capacity of small, medium and large scale businesses and also encourage intensive agricultural production.
He said this would be achieved through encouraging and supporting agricultural production, developing value chain and strengthening commercial ventures for stable economy.
There is also moves by the government to liberalize agricultural sector in this year’s budget as recently, the Nasarawa state government Dangote Group signed a $700m (about N220bn) agreement for sugar project.
The signing ceremony of the deed of acquisition, lease and development agreement took place at the National Sugar Development Council, Sugar House in Abuja.
President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the integrated sugar complex would be located in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
He added that it will comprise 60,000 hectares of sugar plantation and two sugar factories with the capacity to produce 430,000tpa of refined white sugar representing about 30 per cent of the country’s consumption and would be the largest plant in Nigeria.
He said the sugar project would also provide 30,000 jobs for the teeming youths in Nasarawa State.
Dangote said the Phase II of the project, when extended to cover 100,000 hectares would make the sugar plant the largest in Africa.
Dangote Group has already committed the sum of N250m for community development of Tunga in line with its corporate social responsibility initiative to improve the people’s well-being.
He said the project was to further align Dangote Group with the present government’s policy of diversifying the economy, by a renewed focus on the non-oil sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals, where the group was already well-positioned and a leader.
“Agriculture is a key sector in the industrialisation of any nation. Therefore, Dangote Group, in support of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda in agriculture, developed a sugar backward integration project plan targeted at the production of 1.5MT/PA from various sites across Nigeria in 10 years.
Besides the over 100,000 employment opportunities that will be generated from the sugar plantations, sugar sufficiency and the extended values chain, the group will establish integrated sugar mills, generate electricity, produce animal feed, amongst others.
Meanwhile, Nasarawa State is also to benefit from rice mills by the end of this year.
Governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, said the giant multi-billion naira investment by Dangote was a significant milestone in the history of the people, the state and Nigeria in general.
He commended Dangote for the gesture.
For the peasants farmers in the state, already the state Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has flagged off the sales of fertilizers for this year’s cropping season.
Flagging off the selling of the 10,000 metric tones of fertilizers at the palace of Zhe Migili in Jenkwe Development Area of Obi Local Government of the state, Governor Al-Makura said government has supported the procurement of the fertilizers with over N300m and the products will be sold to farmers at the rate of N400 instead of the initial price N550 per bag.
“Government is very much aware of the difficulties people are facing and government cannot but ensure that substantial amount of subsidy is injected into so that these fertilizers could be affordable to every ordinary farmer”.
Governor Al-Makura who reaffirmed his administration concern towards ensuring fertilizer is accessible and affordable to farmers in the state, acknowledged the efforts of the administration towards the production of locally made fertilizers as according to him arrangements were at advanced stage for the procurement of additional fertilizer blending plants for the state.
The Nasarawa State government also plans to establish an institute of Agricultural Research in Lafia to boost Agric research, food production and create employment in the state.
Gov Masari’s Agricultural Revolution in Katsina
A quick review of Katsina State’s budget in the process of uplifting the lives and standard of living of farmers across the state shows that the appropriations for agriculture had consistently remained below five per cent over the year until Governor Aminu Bello Masari made special efforts to boost the sector.
As at November 2016, the sector received a total of N1.675 billion as capital allocation. In 2017 budget, the approved allocation to agriculture, N8, 590,504,945 or nine per cent of the total budget.
The agric sector has empowered a large segment of the population to the extent that over 70 per cent of Katsina State intending pilgrims that have settled all their fares and necessary fees this year are farmers, a clear evidence the agriculture policies of the government are yielding desired results.
It is in the context of the foregoing that the midterm project implementation update of the state agricultural Restoration project is examined. The project was developed to correct the negative sector growth enhancers. It aims at transforming the state economy within the agriculture production and industrialization development framework because it is achievable as experienced in several countries.
The agro-initiatives of the state government since Governor Masari assumed office in 2015 have not only raised the living standards of farmers that had been hitherto marginalized or repressed economically, tailored to form the basic growth enhancers that will ensure effective governance of the sector and will catalyze growth.
Projects in the sector include Farmers’ data and information system, Anchors Borrowers Programme (ABP), farm power machineries and equipment, irrigation development project, rehabilitation of irrigation scheme, smart inputs distribution system, IFAD climate change adaption and agribusiness support programme, Fadama 111 additional financing project, groundnut and cowpea up scaling project, rural finance institution building programme, agricultural extension development, agro-metrology, agro allied industries, partnerships with international and local public as well as private sector institutions in investments.
The state government is collaborating with some Indian companies to develop agriculture in the state while Erisco Tomato Paste company is developing a factory in the state for tomato processing.
Kebbi State’s Budget For Agriculture
Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, had presented a budget proposal of N139.1 billion for 2017 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly as against N109.7 billion for 2016.
According to him, the 2017 budget proposal comprises N99.1billion capital and N40 billion recurrent expenditures respectively.
Bagudu did not give any breakdown of the budget, but said priority would be given to education, agriculture, health and infrastructure.
Kebbi has made a huge success of the CBN Anchored Borrower Programme.
The CBN anchor Rice and wheat programme was aimed at creating an ecosystem to link out-growers (small holder farmers) to local processors.
The programme would also increase financing by banks to the agricultural sector, enhance capacity utilisation of agricultural firms involved in the production of identified commodities as well as the productivity and incomes of farmers.
The state went into partnership with Lagos state for production and processing of rice which is sold under the brand name “LAKE Rice”. The state remains one of the success stories of the government’s efforts at diversifying the economy through enhanced agricultural productivity.
Kaduna’s Agriculture Budget:
Kaduna state is committing N4.6bn to agriculture representing 9.89 per cent of the state’s N215billion budget approved for 2017.
The state government has allocated N7.9bn to the agriculture sector representing 4.35 per cent of N174.8bn budget approved for 2017.
Major projects being executed in the sector include the Anchor borrowers scheme which is targeted at providing jobs to about 100,000 youths.
Other states in the North have equally lined up various projects aimed at increasing agricultural productivity thereby increasing food supply and boosting incomes through sale of agricultural products.