The National assembly passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.441 trillion on Thursday, with the agriculture sector receiving an allocation of N103.7 billion, an increment of N12 billion compared to the N92 billion naira earlier proposed for the sector last year.
Details of the bill show that 30 per cent or N2.18 trillion was allocated to capital expenditure, while recurrent expenditure (non-debt) and debt service received N2.987 trillion and N1.84 trillion respectively.
Speaking exclusively to AgroNigeria on the development, the Chairman, Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie, said the agriculture sector received the increase with respect to calls for more funding to tackle food security and for economic diversification.
“The increase in the sectoral allocation to Agriculture of about N12bn is in response to the continuing clamour for more funding to support food security and economic diversification. It is also in realisation of the cardinal position Agriculture and agribusiness occupies in the quest to defeat unemployment and its related vices”, he said.
On which areas the agric budget will focus more attention on Okorie said “You will notice that additional funding went not only to the main ministry but also to the research institutes and colleges, which are critical drivers of knowledge and technology necessary to modernise the sector.”
He added that the enhancement, though still inadequate, touches on many vital segments of the sector; including training, extension, research and development.
The total budget which witnessed an increase of N143 billion was said to occur as a result of the benchmark in the price of crude oil from N42.5per barrel proposed by the president to $44.5 per barrel.
This post was first published in AgroNigeria.