Private Firms Invest N526bn In Food Production

Between 2013 and June 2016, private sector investors and development partners in Nigeria provided a total of $1.694bn (N526.8bn) for the improvement of food and nutrition security across the country.

Food

According to the latest report of the Economic Community of West African States’ Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System on the overview of the New Alliance and Grow Africa Partnerships in Nigeria, while the private sector and development partners have done brilliantly in terms of meeting agreed terms, the Federal Government has failed to live up to expectation.

This was made public during the validation of the annual progress report on the NAGAP agreements in Abuja.

Presenting some highlights of the report, the Policy Analyst, ReSAKSS, ECOWAS, Dr. Manson Nwafor, said the tripartite agreement that existed among the three parties came as a result of various memoranda of understanding signed by the concerned entities.

He noted that while the private sector had surpassed its target as contained in the MoU, and the development partners scored very high, the Federal Government had done poorly.

Supporting his statement with findings in the report, Nwafor said, “The Nigerian government was expected to have completed 26 tasks by June 2016. Nine have been completed, which is 35 per cent achievement rate.

“Development partners were expected to have provided $420m in aid by June 2016. They have provided $294m, which is 70 per cent achievement rate.

Also, the private sector is expected to have invested $1.1bn as of June 2016. They have invested $1.4bn as of June 2016, which is 123 per cent achievement rate.”

On the nature of the alliance, Nwafor said it was primarily established to improve food and nutrition security in Nigeria, as well as increase the volume of private sector investments in the country’s agricultural sector.

On the purpose of the partnership, the report noted that it was a mutual accountability tool on agreed commitments that would ensure adequate peer review.

It stated, “The government made 27 specific commitments in 13 broad areas, including seed and fertiliser, agriculture financing, agriculture insurance, nutrition, land tilting, staple crops processing zones, commodity exchange, enterprise registration and power availability.

“Development partners committed to predictable funding of $500m mostly over the 2013 to 2016 period. The private sector made commitments in the areas of agriculture investment ($3.8bn) in the 2013 to 2023 period.”

In his speech, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, said the alliance was formed in 2013 when the government, private sector and development partners made written commitments on key actions to be embarked upon within a time frame.

This, he said, was in order to improve agricultural investments, food and nutrition security in line with the principles of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme.

“Each stakeholder is, therefore, accountable to others for the commitments made,” Ahmed said.