Agric minister can take sector to next level – Agropreneur

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Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono, Nigeria's minister of Agriculture & Rural Development

An Agropreneur, Kabiru Shitu says the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has the requisite knowledge and experience to revamp agriculture in spite of being over 70.

Shitu, who is the President, Cowpea (Beans) Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, made this known in Abuja.

He said the fear in some quarters that the minister would not be strong enough to withstand the rigours of the job was uncalled for.

We think merit should be our focus as a country. The question is, did he merit being appointed to head agric ministry. Does he have knowledge of agriculture?

“As a minister, you are to supervise the activities of the ministry. At age 70, 73 you have more wisdom, you have seen it all and you are to supervise directors and then put up plans for the ministry.

“Driving policies are the directors’ responsibilities, headed by the Permanent Secretary. He has told us that he has been into farming business since 1973.

“Therefore, I believe we should give him a chance and I want to urge Nigerians to stop condemnation of our leaders.

“Whoever God has chosen and given responsibility should be allowed to instead of criticising that person based on qualification or age,” he said.

Shitu called on those expressing such fears to share useful documents with the minister and work with him to move the sector forward rather than engaging in blind criticism.

“Whoever has any contribution should put it in black and white. A blue print you want to call it. A position paper you want to call it, give to him, see him, advise him, discuss with him in an area you are specialised in. He then will put it in a policy paper.”

Nanono in brief

Nanono, assumed office on Aug. 21, to replace Mr Audu Ogbe, whose tenure expired with the termination of the last administration.

Nanono, who hails from Kano, studied Business Administration and he was a university lecturer, civil servant, and banker, who, rose to the position of Managing Director of African International Bank (AIB).

He is a farmer and politician.

The minister is expected to interface with the 40 agencies and parastatals under the ministry as well as relevant stakeholders in the next four years.