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Economic diversification: Senate seeks 4yr plans from ministries



The Senate Chamber

Senate has called on the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Solid Minerals to prepare their four year plans in form of road maps for the diversification of the nation’s economy.

The road maps from both ministries, according to the upper legislative chamber, should be unveiled by them at round table conferences with critical stakeholders in the sectors slated for the first week of December 2019.

Senate’s request for four year plans from both ministries on diversification, followed a motion, “The need for continuous implementation of policy reforms for the diversification of the Nigerian economy through the agricultural and solid minerals sectors”, sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central) to that effect during plenary.

Amosun, while presenting the motion, said the two sectors hold the secret to the current efforts by the federal government to diversify the Nigerian economy and also lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.

He explained that prior to the emergence of petroleum as a major foreign exchange earner in Nigeria, the solid minerals sector ranked second only to the agricultural sector as source of export earnings for the country.

Virtually all the senators who contributed to debate on the motion , supported the need for the Federal government to expedite action on its diversification policy using the agricultural and solid minerals sectors as the driving force.

Specifically, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks said as provided for, by one of the prayers of the motion adopted heads of Agriculture and Solid Minerals should come up with road maps on what they want to achieve within the next four years on the diversification policy.

“Heads of these two critical sectors as stated in one of the prayers already adopted, need to interface with our Committees on Agriculture and Solid Minerals as well as relevant stakeholders in the sectors for unveiling of their road maps in driving the diversification policy of the federal government.

“Such interface should come up by the first week of next month with a view of addressing the challenges militating against effective impact of the various federal government policies on the economy,” he said.

The upper legislative chamber also resolved that the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture , should ensure strict adherence to policies and set goals for the various Intervention policies and further development strategies that will move farmers from subsistence farming to mechanized farming.

This, the red chamber added, can be achieved through collaboration with relevant agencies on zero tariffs for import on agricultural and agro- processing equipment as well as tax holidays for investors, increase levy on any commodities that Nigeria can produce.

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