By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post)– A World Bank assessment report has ranked Nigeria among countries that have met the international standard in the area of regulatory frameworks for finance, fertilizers, machinery in agribusiness.
The Program Manager of World Bank Group, Farbod Youssefi, disclosed the report during a one-day workshop for the Enabling Business of Agriculture (EBA, 2017) Report for Nigeria, organised by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) on Tuesday in Abuja.
However, Youssefi noted the areas Nigeria has slacked off, like the
area of seeds, markets, transport etc.
He said, “Well, it’s not mine to say what the government should do or not to do but what I can do is to share the evidence of this report, which is basically the tool which compares the regulations in Nigeria; the laws and regulations for agribusiness with some other countries.
“When you do the comparison, you find that there are some areas where Nigeria has weaker laws and regulations than other countries. Those areas are seeds, markets, transport, to name a few.
“Now, there are other areas such as finance, fertilizers, machinery
where the scores in Nigeria are actually higher than other countries.
Still, there are some areas where improvement can be made.
“The evidence really highlights those opportunities to improve the
regulatory framework for agribusiness here in Nigeria.”
In the same vein, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Agriculture, Waziri Ahmadu, said that the country has good frameworks but lacks the political will to implement them.
“What happens in Nigeria really is not legal and regulatory issues
that are the problem. In most cases, we have very good frameworks but when it comes to implementation, it’s a completely different kettle of fish,” he said.
He urged FG to increase the already available 30, 000 functional
tractors to 300,000 to 400,000 tractors in the country because of the current population.
“I just take the example of machinery; we are only about 16 out of the 62 countries that have been assessed, which means that we should be doing very well but unfortunately, the reality is that in Nigeria, the tractor density is so low; it’s like one tractor to 3,000 hecters of land.
“With our population, we should have at least 100,000 more tractors in the country, talking about 300,000 to 400,000 tractors in the country but we have less than 30,000 functional tractors in the country right now.
“On one hand, the EBA assessment scored us very high but in reality, it’s not like that. Officially, the federal government especially most States have not taken cognizance of the fact that there should be a two-track approach; one for the medium-large scale farming investors (Mechanization investors) and then the other track is for the smallholder farmers who are in the large majority.
“So, to that extend, I will urge the people reviewing the draft and
producing the final version of the report to also look at the
provisioning mechanization capabilities for smallholder agriculture
not just the regular large scale agriculture”.
Nigeria Has Better Regulatory Framework For Fertilizers—World Bank
By Nse Anthony-Uko