Mohammed Nanono, who was a few days ago sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has narrrated the difficulties he encountered that impeded his performance.
He said his private sector background contributed to the challenges he faced.
Nanono stated this during the formal handover of the affairs of the ministry to the new minister, Mohammed Abubakar, at a brief ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
His words : “For me, it’s not been easy. Having a stint in the private sector, probably the way and manner you do things in the public sector, you will get some kind of clashes here and there. But overall, we came to understand each other.”
“We have a huge responsibility in this ministry and everybody is looking up to this ministry. A small increase in food price, it’s ministry of agriculture, flood, it’s ministry of agriculture and everything that you can think of, it’s ministry of agriculture. Well, we accept that responsibility but my hope is that one day, the ministry of agriculture will speak with one voice.
“Frankly, some of the people who introduced themselves here, I have never seen them by the sheer size of the ministry, but we have all contributed to the development of this ministry,” Nanono said.
Nanono said he came in at a time when there were so many challenges associated with COVID-19 and others, adding that “we managed to work together.”
He, however, listed some of his success to include embarking on mechanisation program, introduction of the National Livestock and getting the president to approve the sum of N600 billion for the Smallholder farmers but added the ministry was still battling to get the money released.
Nanono also said that the President graciously approved the price of N3000 per bag of fertilizer for smallholder farmers stressing that “I hope the money is released so that farmers can get it.”
In his remarks, the new minister said his immediate priorities will be to develop the livestock sector, which have continued to face lingering problems due to neglect and the resulting clashes between crop farmers and the herdsmen.
He said his second focus area will be to strengthen the extension service delivery system to create the necessary linkage between farmers and innovations.
The third area he mentioned was to support research institutions in order to be relevant in developing their mandate crops.