From Theresa Egba, Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has disclosed the need for government and other stakeholders to work closely together to realign Nigeria for a progressive life beyond oil.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a two-day retreat held for Directors of the Ministry and sponsored by USAID (Africa Lead), Chief Audu Ogbeh, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, said there is a positive relationship between economic growth in Nigeria and diversification of other sectors like agriculture.
According to him, when there is proper management of human resources, huge investment and focus on agriculture, the Nigerian economy will certainly grow.
Ogbeh stressed that effective, efficient, diligent and result-based monitoring and evaluation must take place to determine the inherent benefit, risks, limitations of agriculture and its practice.
“Monitoring and evaluation is important because it provides the only consolidated source of information showcasing project implementation. It allows actors to learn from each other’s experience, building on expertise and knowledge. It reveals mistakes and offers paths for learning and improvements. It provides a basis for questioning and testing assumptions. It also provides a way to assess the crucial link between implementers and beneficiaries on the ground and decision makers.
In his remarks, the Regional Director, USAID Africa Lead, West Africa Regional Office, Carla Denizard, who was represented by Knowledge Management Manager, Annie Akanko, noted that the purpose of the programme was to support and advance agricultural transformation in Africa as proposed by the African Union Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
Denizard stressed that Africa Lead plays the role as a catalyst and connector for learning and innovations in individual leadership behaviour, in institutional performance and in the policy process, especially including supporting increased injection of evidence into policy debate and decision making and in strengthening engagement of civil society.