An agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has called for consistency in the implementation of the newly signed Agricultural Research Council Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Olawale, a fellow at National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Service (NAERLS), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
According to the expert, there have been a lot of policy papers and frameworks that were yet to be implemented in the agricultural sector hence the call of prompt implementation of the new Act.
“We have had a lot of policy papers and frameworks around agriculture and other sectors in Nigeria but no consistent follow-up on them.
“One problem we have is that by the time the current head of Agricultural Research Council is out of office, will the provision of this act be continuously implemented?
“There should be a national law or act to institutionalize continuity of most agricultural policies including this new Agriculture Research Council Act signed by the President.
“The signing into law of the Agriculture Research Council Act is a good step in the right direction, all we hope for is the implementation and continuity of the provision of the act,” the expert told NAN.
Olawale also called for the engagement of personnel that would properly implement the Act and in turn boost the nation’s agriculture sector.
He noted that “for the Agriculture Research Council Act to be effective and beneficial to the sector, the right persons must be engaged to ensure adequate implementation of the act.
“The act is just a paper by itself but if it can get actual implementation, consistency of implementation and the right people, then the act will successfully move the sector forward.
“One problem we have in the sector is we mostly occupy offices in Nigeria with people who have the academic qualifications but cannot implement the policies of the office.
“The government should do more than passing the Act but also should create an enabling environment for the success of the new act.
“The Act if well implemented, it will aid the diversification of the economy away from oil or mining activities and boost the agricultural sector,’’ Olawale noted.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (Amendment) Bill 2021 to boost agricultural activities in the country on Oct. 8, 2021.
The Act is in consonance with the commitment of the current administration to diversify the economy with agriculture playing a critical role. (NAN