Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, has stated that the federal government will invest heavily in all aspects of the agricultural value chain in order to ensure adequate and high-quality data for effective agricultural policies.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Minister stated this at a Training of Trainers workshop on the National Agriculture Sample Census (NASC) held in Abuja on Monday.
Meanwhile, Prince Semiu Adeniran, the Federation’s Statistician-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, revealed that the agency is beefing up its statistical capacity in agriculture data collection.
What they are saying
The Minister stated that the agriculture sector was important to the Federal Government which was why President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had invested heavily in it since 2015, citing that the investment was aimed at increasing output in the entire value chain to meet the country’s demand for food, export and employment.
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She also commented that Agriculture has consistently recorded positive growth because of the investment and attention to it, in spite of the security challenges encountered in some parts of the country.
“So, we will continue to invest heavily in all aspects of the agricultural value chain taking advantage of all our God-given resources to grow and develop the sector and derive the maximum benefits possible.
“All this cannot be done without the use of adequate and reliable data.
“The success of all our policies, plans and programmes can only be achieved with the right data hence a high premium government has placed on quality data.
“This can be seen in the transformation that has taken place in NBS over the years. NBS is among the few agencies that have recorded close to 100 per cent of its annual capital investment in recent years.
“This is further demonstration of commitment to use the instrumentality of sound statistics in designing appropriate policies to grow and develop all aspects of the economy in Nigeria,” she said.
Prince Semiu Adeniran, the Statistician-General (S-G) of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, NBS), said the sector alone, through its various activities accounted for approximately 25 per cent of the economy, and employs more than 50% of the workforce of the country, both directly and indirectly.
“We need to know what parts of the country they are produced, the kinds of inputs needed, the size of manpower engaged, the sorts of challenges encountered and what other potential exist within the sector.
“All these kinds of information are what the NASC exercise seeks to collect.”
He added that when the National Agriculture Census is complete, it would provide a statistically sound base of data for policy makers, both public and private and help policy makers make important decisions on how to increase the total output and develop it to maximise its potential throughout the entire value chain.
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Nigeria’s agriculture sector grew by 3.16% (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 0.42% points from the preceding quarter which recorded a growth rate of 3.58%.
The sector grew by 11.55% year-on-year in nominal terms in Q1 2022, showing a fall of 3.59% points from the same quarter of 2021 and contributed 22.36% to overall GDP in real terms in Q1 2022, higher than the contribution in the first quarter of 2021 and lower than the fourth quarter of 2021 which stood at 22.35% and 26.84%.