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Empowering Agriculture: VP Shettima Urges Governors to Spearhead Self-Sufficiency Goals at 137th NEC Meeting

The federal government at the NEC meeting agreed to revamp 18,000 healthcare centres across the country.

Vice President Kashim Shettima has charged Governors of the 36 states of the federation to work towards revamping the nation’s agricultural sector, with a view to reducing dependence on food imports and attaining greater food self-sufficiency.
Vice President Kashim Shettima has charged Governors of the 36 states of the federation to work towards revamping the nation’s agricultural sector, with a view to reducing dependence on food imports and attaining greater food self-sufficiency.

Agricultural Sector: VP Shettima Urges Governors to Spearhead Self-Sufficiency Goals at 137th NEC Meeting

Addressing a crucial juncture in Nigeria’s economic trajectory, Vice President Sen. Kashim Shettima implores the governors of all 36 states to spearhead a transformative journey towards self-sufficiency within Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.

Emphasizing the imperative to reduce dependency on food imports and chart a course towards enhanced food self-sufficiency, Sen. Shettima aligns this pivotal shift with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) committed investments in establishing Specialized Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) across Nigeria.

The resounding call for agricultural revitalization echoed on Thursday during the 137th convening of the National Economic Council (NEC) held at the esteemed Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. As the Chairman of the NEC, Sen. Shettima championed the drive to counsel and guide the nation’s economic affairs, drawing upon the collective wisdom of governors from all states, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Minister of Finance, and key stakeholders convened within this vital statutory body.

In his seminal address, VP Shettima underscored the agrarian essence of Nigeria’s economy, asserting,

Our upcoming task must be rooted in recognizing the agrarian nature of our economy. We must strive for deliberate value addition in the agricultural sector, moving away from commodity exports towards job creation.

“Collaboration is vital in enabling the Specialized Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

 

Highlighting the indispensability of collaboration in actualizing the Specialized Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme, a joint endeavour between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the African Development Bank (AfDB), Sen. Shettima stressed the collective responsibility towards nurturing and leveraging Nigeria’s agricultural prowess.

He urged,

“Your Excellencies, we must develop our agricultural sector towards self-sufficiency and exporting processed agricultural products in line with the African Union’s Africa 2063 Agenda. This also aligns with AfDB’s investments and commitment to establishing the SAPZ. Collaboratively, we should harness our agricultural comparative and complementary advantages across the value chains of priority crops within the SAPZ.

Noteworthy within the Vice President’s discourse was the contemplation of engaging the private sector in mitigating natural disasters such as floods, acknowledging the financial complexities of managing such calamities.

He asserted,

“While urging unity as the nation’s hope, I am aware of the financial implications of managing natural disasters. We cannot tackle this alone. Innovative capital pools from the private sector can help share and mitigate fiscal and economic risks posed by such disasters. This approach has been successful in other African countries, preparing for low-probability yet highly disruptive ‘black swan’ events.

“Once again, we find ourselves bearing the weight of the nation. Since our last gathering, much has transpired, with each event punctuated by the nation’s reactions. None of us here requires a reminder of the direction we are headed or what is required to ensure that we stand together through the storm to fulfill our promises to the people. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you back, back to the 137th meeting of the National Economic Council, our engine room”.

Sen. Shettima’s call to action resonated with the weight of national expectations, highlighting the pivotal role of unity in navigating the nation’s trajectory.

Drawing upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s delineated presidential priorities, an integral part of his Renewed Hope Agenda, the Vice President urged collective engagement from governors and council members in seeking both immediate and lasting solutions to reform-driven consequences.

As Nigeria stands poised at this pivotal juncture, the 137th NEC meeting symbolises a crucial engine room of deliberation, steering the nation towards economic resilience and agricultural self-sufficiency in the face of contemporary challenges.

 

 


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