From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Federal Government has announced plans to review obsolete laws in the agricultural sector, in order to boost food production and attract foreign investments.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Abdullahi Sabi, stated this yesterday at the inauguration of the 6th Council of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), in Abuja.

Sabi charged the 29 NIAS members to be patriotic, by introducing contemporary policies that would be implemented before 2025.

“What better time do we have to review all laws in the agricultural sector than now? I think it is part of why we have brought out our focal areas.

“All agencies that have laws, including laws that did not exist but we think are necessary, we are going to bring it on board so that we can do the needful.

“I want to believe that by the special grace of God we will achieve that by ensuring that the laws are reviewed. Go ahead and look at areas of review.

“Please, do not make it cumbersome. No perfect law. I was in the Senate for 8 years and I can tell you that there is no perfect law.

“Just make laws to serve us. We are not to serve law. Do the best you can, bring out those key elements you think should be reviewed.

“Do not put yourself in the law. Put Nigeria and our citizens in the law. When you see laws not getting attention is because individuals are in the law.

“We need to put Nigerians and entrepreneurs that want to help us in the law. I want to assure that we should be able to get that done by next year. We do not want it to go beyond 2025,’ he said.

He noted that agriculture should be seen as a business with effective regulatory framework.

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“We have spelt it out in the agricultural national agriculture policy of the ministry that agriculture that must be seen as a business.

“If agriculture is seen as a business then what you will ask is who will be the businessmen and women? Obviously, business people are interested in the regulatory and legal framework that is certain that they can rely on, that protect them, and give them all the opportunities to thrive.

“So, the Ministry realised that and that is why in our budget this year we are exploring what we call the ease of doing business in agriculture.

“Of course, when we talk about agriculture we are talking about large output. At the end of the day what we want to see are those things that make operation of business easy. The ease of doing business that I talked about is sacrosanct. In agriculture, it is peculiar.”

NIAS President, Professor Baba Yusuf Abubakar, who assured the Minister of doing a thorough job in repealing the laws, announced the establishment of NIAS commodity-based innovation and training centers across the geopolitical zones.

“These are for Sheep & Goats (Kano), Beef & Dairy (Bauchi), Pasture & Forage (Benue), Swine (Enugu), Poultry (Oyo) and Micro Livestock (Edo).

“These centers will be equipped with appropriate training facilities and farm infrastructures.

“The first phase of implementation will involve the Kano, Bauchi and Oyo locations while we anticipate the commissioning of the Kano center in Kabo to happen soon. The edifice was donated to NIAS by H.E. the Deputy Senate President,” he said.

Abubakar restated the four Ministerial Action Points (MAP) assigned to the Institute for quick attention in October, 2023 which include “Exploration of alternative options for addressing challenges associated with rising cost of livestock feeds

“Intensify collaboration with relevant Departments in FMAFS to address crucial issues and challenging tasks in the sector

“Effective deployment of the Institute’s regulatory function to lay a solid foundation in the livestock subsector for the achievement of National Food Security & Nutrition goals

“Submission of a comprehensive report of the Institute’s activities highlighting critical challenges that continue to require the attention of the Hon. Ministers for urgent intervention.”