‘President creating millionaires in farming’ – Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed said federal government's initiatives in agriculture has empowered farmers in Nigeria to become millionaires.
The minister stated this on Channels TV programme, on Tuesday, 30 May 2017.
He noted that young farmers have been empowered through the Anchor Borrower Programme and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s Soil Map initiative.
Mohammed said that the programmes, which recorded huge success in rice and grain productions, particularly in Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Sokoto states, had made farming attractive to young people.
The minister said that in 2015, the country imported 580,000 metric tonnes of rice, which had been brought down to 58,000 metric tonnes in 2016 with the successful implementation of the programme.
He said that the government had also been able to bring down the cost of fertiliser from N9,000 to N5,000 following a bilateral agreement it signed with the Kingdom of Morocco.
Mohammed said that it was made possible because of committed investments in infrastructure, ease of doing business and increased budgetary votes for capital projects.
His words: “When we came in, we inherited about N1.7 trillion in debt owed to contractors; 202 roads were abandoned. In the entire 2015, only N18 billion was spent on roads and N5 billion spent on power.
“In 2016/2017 we released N1.2 trillion for capital projects only; we spent N260 billion on roads and N99 billion on power generation.
“We have constructed 320 kilometres of roads and fixed 460 kilometres of road: We have built 24 bridges and repaired about 21.
“On rail lines, we have commenced the construction of the 150 km per hour standard gauge from Lagos to Ibadan and working on others across the country.
“It takes acute discipline and management of resources to be where we are today.
“In spite of recession, between October last year and today, we have been able to add additional 7 billion dollars to our federal reserves.
“We have also successfully added 87 million dollars to the Excess Crude Account and attract 500 million dollars to the Sovereign Wealth Fund,” he said.
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