Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A civil rights organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, has called on the three tiers of government in Nigeria, to increase their budgetary allocation in Agriculture, Health and Education sectors as way to recover fast from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was contained in a press release issued by the Board of Trustees and General Assembly of ActionAid Nigeria as convened by Mr. David Nwachukwu, after a virtual meeting of the Board to review the State the Nation during the 12th General Assembly meeting.
The organisation said it recognises the efforts of the current administration to move the country forward, particularly at an unprecedented time when the world is battling a pandemic.
“The Board of Trustees and General Assembly of ActionAid Nigeria following its 12th General Assembly meeting held virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has deemed it fit as citizens of the nation and as active agents of change to make the following comments, observations and recommendations on the State of the Nation.”
Part of the recommendations included an increase in budgetary allocation to Agriculture, Health and Education sectors, saying, the sectors are critical and no longer negotiable if Nigeria is to recover fast from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It acknowledged that the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the country’s health sector at all levels; long years of neglect and low investment in public infrastructure, including health and education. has made Nigeria more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Same applies to the agriculture sector, where hunger and food scarcity looms as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Evidence has shown that increased investments in these pro-poor sectors have strong impact on poverty and inequality reduction, while simultaneously creating employment opportunities.
“Agriculture employs up to 80% of the population, especially in the informal sector, where the majority of the small-scale food producers are women farmers. Financial inclusiveness should be encouraged through increased access to credit for the small-scale farmers.