Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has said it is considering placing a ban on maize importation since the country has enough of it.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, stated this recently, when the National Assembly Joint Committee on Agriculture visited the ministry for its constitutional oversight function, in Abuja.
Ogbeh further lampooned the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) for not allegedly living up to its mandates.
“We need to do something about the National Agriculture Research Council (NARC) which is not really meeting its objective and which by certain government regulations has become rather moribund.
“We will take the views of the legislatures, and action has to be taken to bring it to order and we are considering limiting maize importation since we have enough,” he said.
On his part, House of Representatives Chairman on Agriculture, Hon. Tahir Monguno, suggested that budgetary allocation for agriculture should be removed from the traditional budgetary provision, insisting that agriculture is time bound.
“There is a need for the legislature and executive to collaborate and make sure that budgetary allocation concerning agriculture be removed from the traditional budgetary provision in view of the fact that issues concerning agriculture are time bound and rains can not wait.”
Monguno, further proposed constitutional amendment of the Public Procurement Act to grant leeway to the Ministry of Agriculture not to comply with the provisions of the Act so that farmers can benefit from the services of government as at when due without bureaucratic delays.
“The government should amend the law of Public Procurement Act to allow the Ministry in particular, not to comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in order not to constitute a cog in the wheels of progress in delivering of services to farmers,” he remarked.