Expert Knocks Minister Over Laxity Comment

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh

An agricultural expert,
Mr Umor Muzan has faulted the statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, that the current economic situation in the country was as a result of laxity of Nigerians to go into agriculture.
Muzan, a trained agric engineer who spoke to The Tide in a telephone interview, rather blamed the situation on the inability of past administrations in sustaining the various agric programmes that were initiated by them.
He explained that most times portfolio farmers hijacked laudable agric programmes to the detriment of genuine farmers.
According to him, the agric sector only saw some respite during the operation of the e-wallet system that was initiated by the last administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Muzan also blamed the situation on the ruling class in shortchanging subsistence farmers that were not connected to the top in getting the desired access to loans and agric inputs.
“More often than not, the rural farmer is not given the chance in accessing loans and necessary agricultural inputs”, he said.
It could be recalled that the minister had while launching the “one man, one hectare” agric policy in Ezillo Village, Ebonyi State, recently said the over dependence of the last administration on oil and importation of goods crippled the country’s economy.
He was also reported to have assured that the present government was making efforts to correct the situation, adding that the government’s policy on agriculture would assist the nation in overcoming the economic challenges.
At the flag-off of the programme, the minister presented cheques and tractors to some of the beneficiaries.