THE Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has vowed that the double-digit economic growth vision of the present administration would be vigorously pursued by the Ministry under his leadership for the benefit of the country for inclusivity and speedy development.
The Minister identified Agriculture as one of the 8th point Agenda of the administration which will help in achieving a double-digit GDP growth rate for the Nation.
Bagudu made this known when he received an official of IFAD led by its Country Director, Dede Ekoue in his office in Abuja.
He maintained that the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning remains integral to the attainment of the double-digit vision of Tinubu’s administration, adding that the Ministry will improve its framework for coordinated planning and budgeting roles.
He commended IFAD for the support that the organization had been providing in Nigeria before the assumption of office of the present administration and expressed hope that the good developmental relationship will continue.
The Minister noted that IFAD supported the high-level session on ’’Nigeria’s Innovative financing for food system transformation: Leveraging Best Practices from Nigeria’’ in Rome chaired by the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Kazeem Shettima, during the UNFSS +2 Stocktaking Moment in July this year.
“I must commend IFAD for also empowering poor rural people, especially women, by increasing their access to resources, infrastructure and services, and to promote the management of land, water, and common property by local communities, thus helping to combat environmental degradation.
“I am also aware that IFAD is in partnership with Nigeria government to build capacity and strengthen institutions that provide services to rural people and assist with necessary policy changes, developing local organizations to enhance their effective participation, and promote initiatives to foster rapid poverty reduction and economic growth,” he said.
Earlier, while welcoming the IFAD team, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Nebeolisa Anako, introduced IFAD to the Minister as one of the UN Agencies that were designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations to support the implementation of the Food System Transformation Pathways being coordinated by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
He noted that since the commencement of the implementation of the food systems transformation pathways, IFAD had been supporting the Ministry in different areas of economic growth and development.
The Country Director of IFAD, Dede Ekoue, who was on a courtesy visit to the minister, congratulated the Minister on his well-deserved appointment as Minister by the President, saying that the wide network of connections which the Minister had would make his job at the Budget Ministry easy.
She restated the commitment of IFAD to the activities of the Ministry under the leadership of Sen. Bagudu in the area of implementing policies and support that will impact the lives of majority of Nigerians.
Ekoue recalled that the Food system transformation introduced by IFAD to the Federal Government was successful in Nigeria due to the support received from the government.
She advocated for partnership between the federal government and IFAD to be sustained for more growth and innovativeness.
She also sought the inclusion of farmers and all relevant actors in the policies and programs of the Ministry.
“ Let me state here that there should be emphasis on nutrition and food security in line with the Action Plan that was unveiled by the Vice President at the last Food system summit .”
She described government’s investment in food systems transformation as an investment that would yield dividends in due time for the masses.
Also speaking, the Director, Social Development in the Ministry, Dr. Faniran informed that the federal government is already setting up a committee to oversee the entire process of food systems transformation so that the initiative could achieve its intended purpose through public-private sector engagement.