The Speaker, Benue state House of Assembly, Mr Titus Uba, has said until stakeholders in the agricultural sector summon the political will to truly develop the sector, its potentials would not be maximally utilised.
He said no matter how well crafted agricultural policies were, unless there was goodwill to properly implement them, Nigeria would continue live in its past glory with regard to the sector.
The speaker, who made this assertion in Abuja Wednesday, said this at the 2019 Feed Nigeria Summit with stakeholders from within and outside the country and the theme, “Unlocking Prosperity through Partnership”.
Uba said it was disheartening to note that the country was grappling with attaining its previous position with agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.
The speaker further said it was time to cut down on importation by “producing what we need and consuming what we produce”, adding that countries that were thriving in agriculture looked inward to develop their economy and technology.
“We can put legislation on ground as legislators but the political will to ensure implementation of these laws to boost agriculture is the key issue.”
Uba said the bulk of implementation of laws and policies lied with the Executive, adding that the most the legislature could do was oversight.
The speaker called on the legislators to carry out oversight functions effectively by avoiding politicisation in favour their parties.
He further said, “We should not be afraid to attempt our technology as a country.”
The speaker urged the government to check smuggling and provide enabling environment for local industries.
He said unless the necessary infrastructure were put in place to ensure ease of doing business, it would be difficult to beat smuggling.
“W are here trying to look at how agro business will thrive and talking about customs and our borders. Benue State for instance, has a lot of oranges that can produce concentrate to distribute to other companies.
“We have a processing plant for that but it is moribund because the infrastructure is not there. We could not sustain the cost of fuelling and other overhead costs,” he said.