Multiple taxation, insecurity and policy inconsistency have been identified as the key challenges confronting Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
Engr. Benson Abounu, Deputy Governor of Benue state, said this while delivering a paper at the Feed Nigeria Summit 2019 conference held in Abuja.
Abounu said that multiple taxation was stifling needed investment in the sector, as most business interests were paying several taxes at federal, state and local government levels.
He said this would ensure “return-on-investment” would remain remain a mirage.
“Multiple Taxation is a problem facing industralization and productivity in Nigeria. Multiple taxation is killing productivity and the Government must do something about this,” Abounu said.
The Deputy-Governor called on the Federal government to ensure the “Ease-of-doing-business” template is effectively implemented in the agric sector to cushion the challenge of over-reliance on budget allocations to fund the sector.
One of the key challenges plaguing the agricultural sector in Nigeria is insecurity.
In the last three years, massive clashes between animal herders and local farming communities have left several people dead, thousands injured, farmlands destroyed and the displacement of several communities across Nigeria.
Indeed, the African centre for strategic studies estimates that over 60,000 have been killed in North-Central Nigeria – one of the nation’s key food belt regions.
Benue state has had its fair share of farmers-herders clashes, cattle rustling and kidnappings.
Consequently, the deputy-governor said the time had come for an all-inclusive strategy by all arms of government and Nigerian citizens to ensure the constant security breaches were checked to avoid a national food crisis.
“Insecurity must be taken care of before agriculture can thrive in Nigeria,” he noted.
Abounu said a consistent policy framework focused on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) would ensure Nigeria becomes a massive food producer on a global scale.
“Nigeria should not just be self-sufficient in agriculture but also be able to feed the world because we have all it takes.”
The Feed Nigeria Summit 2019 conference ends on Wednesday August 28.