By Cecilia Ijuo
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has directed all state and zonal coordinators to commence documentation of agricultural assets across the country.
Nanono gave the directive at a meeting on monitoring and evaluation of 2019 projects on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister, who noted that there were several agricultural assets, ranging from lands and buildings, lamented that many of them were unutilised and unaccounted for.
“We have enormous unutilised assets. They are so many that we do not even know where they are. We have land; we have buildings everywhere in this country.
“All zonal coordinators, please document our assets across the country. It is very important to know where they are and we want to know the status of these assets. Leaving them like that is a misnomer,” he said.
Nanono urged stakeholders at the meeting to come up with a strategic paper that would enable the ministry to properly monitor and evaluate priority projects.
He said: “this interactive meeting is apt as it provides opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the 2019 priority projects. This is to enable us strategise as we commence implementation of 2020 capital projects.
“Encumbrances to effective monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes is a challenge that must be surmounted if we must attain the mandate assigned to us.”
On efforts by the Federal Government to reposition the ministry, he said the Federal Government was not resting on its oars to ensure that critical areas of the sector were catered to.
According to him, some critical areas of concern as mentioned by President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2020 State of the Nation address on Jan. 1, were mechanisation, extension service and livestock.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, called for synergy between the headquarters and the zonal, state offices as well as other stakeholders in project implementation.
He directed all departments and units in the ministry to align their activities to the agricuture-specific 2019 to 2023 priority projects, programmes and deliverables.
He expressed optimism that the meeting would equip participants with best practices in monitoring and evaluation for better performance.