Alh. Sabo Nanono, minister of agriculture and rural development, is a strong arm of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level Agenda. He is a technocrat driving a sector with the potential for the biggest job creation and poverty reduction in Nigeria. He came on board with a renewed vision and vigour to make the nation’s agric sector a big player in job creation and economic prosperity under the government’s Next Level drive.
He is quite confident of what would be the results of his actions in making the President’s promises to Nigerians a reality. Nigerians will feel the impact of the agricultural sector in a new dimension, he declared as he took over the leadership of the ministry.
He seeks a fundamental approach that will optimise the benefits of agriculture to Nigerians and thereby enable the President achieve his mission of lifting 100 million people out of poverty. Given the large proportion that agriculture occupies in Nigeria’s economic space, Nanono has enormous power and opportunity placed in his hands in determining how far the government’s Next Level Agenda can go.
He quite understands the potential and wants to drive it with the right policy. “Agriculture is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, if Nigeria gets agricultural policy right, the country may not only feed its citizens but the entire West African countries”, he said.
His task is to get the right policy to drive the potential and to add the third leg of his agricultural transformation tripod – which is action. He has mapped out actions in key fronts – to double effort to produce the best results.
The minister assures that the three legs of his new drive in the sector will be complete to conquer challenges and deliver prosperity to the nation.
“We understand there are challenges but we will see how they could be tackled as it concerns to staff and all stakeholders in the sector,” he said.
Matching words with action, Nanono has undertaken a review of the nation’s agricultural policy with the purpose of revitalizing existing agricultural policies in order to meet the needs and aspirations of the President in diversifying the economy, using agriculture as a driving force.
He has adopted the value chain approach to reposition the sector through implementing policy instruments for enterprise development across successive stages of the commodity value chains. The strategy is an integrated approach to the development of the crops, livestock and fishery sub sectors.
Nanono has given agricultural research institutes a new attention as the engine of growth in the agric sector. He said hisrenewed effort in research institutes across the country in order to promote sectoral growth and food security in the country. He wants the institutes to research on improved seeds that will be suitable for Nigeria’s environment.
To improved seed he has added the essence of using technology to boost food production, combat food shortages and climate change. More than money, low technology application is blamed for low agricultural output relative to the large population engaged in the sector. The minister wants to give agricultural technology a boost that will change the reading.
President Buhari and Nanono are counted as a great combination in integrity and selfless leadership with about the best chance ever in transforming lives and redirecting the course of the nation towards economic development. The President’s detraction from corrupt and selfish rule in Nigeria provides a fertile ground for acclaimed technocrats like Nanono to join hands to uplift the nation.
Nanono holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Master’s Degree in public policy and administration from University of Wisconsin, Madison USA. He attended an advanced management course at Harvard Business School, Boston Massachusetts and is also a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria.
The Kano-born agric minister is a top raking human resource manager and a scholar who has demonstrated high administrative skills across many walks of life. He has been a university lecturer, a civil servant and a banker, who rose to the position of chief executive officer of the defunct African International Bank. He is a farmer, a community leader and a politician.
He has a great commitment to see the Next Level Agenda Promises of the President become a mission accomplished. His desire is to help the President bring about a new standard in governance that will take Nigeria and its people to the next level of human, economic and infrastructural development.