Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has hinted that the agro-allied value chain is key to unlocking the greatest value for jobs and improved productivity in Nigeria.
Osinbajo made this disclosure while declaring open the 2019 Annual National Management Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), in Abuja.
At the conference themed, “Managing the Challenges of Democracy”, Osibanjo revealed that the central question, especially in the public sector, was not the lack of talent or well-researched policies but the weakness in implementation.
He added that the implementation of policies and programmes to address the challenges of poverty and wealth creation, jobs for millions of young people required collective thinking and action.
“But we recognise that it is in the agro-allied value chain that the greatest value lies for jobs and improved productivity.
“So a crucial component of that is our mechanisation of agriculture programme with the Brazilian government where we intend to build service centers in every local government to render extension services, leasing of farm equipment, provision of improved inputs.
”In addition to that there will be six assembly plants for tractors and other equipment. The enhancing of commerce in agriculture by the building of rural roads for access to markets and commodity exchanges are also priority items.
“The expansion of opportunities in manufacturing with the completion of the first phase of the special economic zones in Enyimba City in Abia, Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos and the Funtua Cotton in Katsina are priorities and good progress has been made thus far.
“In addition we are in collaboration with the BOI in investing in infrastructure in small businesses and commercial clusters all over Nigeria.
“Leather works clusters, shoe making, food processing clusters, printer clusters etc are to benefit from the provision of power, equipment, and other infrastructure.’’
The Vice president stated that under the energising economies scheme, the Federal Government licensed and ensured the provision of power on a willing-buyer willing-seller basis to large and medium scale markets, such as Sabongari in Kano, Ariaria in Aba and Sura in Lagos.
He said that the Federal Government’s Social intervention Programmes had greatly enhanced access to credit and improved the inventories of petty traders, adding that the programme recently won the African Development Bank prize for financial inclusion.