Chinyere Anyanwu and Steve Agbota

The newly appointed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shekuri, have assumed duties yesterday. 

Addressing directors and staff of the ministry in Abuja, Nanono noted that the agriculture sector is a key component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s next level agenda. The minister pointed out that “the agriculture sector is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria,” adding that if Nigeria gets its agricultural policy right, the country would not only feed its citizens but the entire West African region.

Nanono sought the cooperation of the staff to enable him succeed in his new assignment.

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In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, pledged their support and commitment to the success of the minister and minister of state’s tenure.  He also sought the cooperation of members of the labour union of the ministry, which he said was necessary for a peaceful working environment.

Nanono was a university lecturer, civil servant, a banker who rose to the position of Managing Director of African International Bank (AIB), as well as the Village Head of Tofai in Gabasawa, a farmer and politician.

Shekuri, on the other hand, was council chairman of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council under the defunct Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) from 1997 to 1998. Between 1999 and 2003, Shekuri was a member of the State House of Assembly representing the Maiduguri Metropolitan State Constituency on the platform of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP).