July 3, 2024

Senate receives agric extension revitalisation bill, assures speedy passage


Senator Saliu Mustapha, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Production and Rural Development, has affirmed to the prompt passage of the Agriculture Extension Revitalisation Bill into law presented by stakeholders in the agricultural sector, under the umbrella of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) Icon 2 Project, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

The bill, which was developed from the zero to third draft before its finalisation based on recommendations from relevant stakeholders, was handed over to Senator Mustapha in his office at the Red Chamber on Thursday, 27 June 2024. Receiving the Bill, Senator Mustapha expressed satisfaction with the speed at which the team worked to develop it.

He assured the team and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the speedy passage of the Agriculture Extension Revitalisation Bill into law, stating that his team would quickly review the bill, make the necessary adjustments, and proceed with its reading on the Senate floor to ensure its subsequent passage, and presidential assent. While highlighting the importance of extension services in the agricultural sector, Senator Saliu commended the stakeholders for coming up with a bill that will reposition agriculture in the country.

He said, “We will also look at it again to see if there is any area that we can touch, but I believe that with the participation of some of my legal aids, I don’t think we will have anything to waste time on, so it will just be for us to see how we can quickly move into action in making sure that the bill is being taken to the floor and see how we will get the President to accent to it.”

She noted that the Bill is a product of the contributions of all the stakeholders supported by the FDAE and other key personalities in the agricultural sector. She said, “Today, we are happy to say that our draft will be presented to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Production and Rural Development. “It is the finished product of what we have extracted from the National Agricultural Policy, and we have worked together with multi-stakeholders who have contributed robustly to this draft Bill.”

After presenting the draft bill, the representative of the Director of FDAE, Dr. Olawumi Ayodele, said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, particularly the Federal Department of Agriculture Extension, is hopeful that the agricultural extension delivery system in Nigeria will be strengthened.

He pointed out, “Before this time, the Ministry had established the Federal Department of Agriculture extension in 2012; again, we have secured the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval for the agricultural extension policy, but the main thing is to have an agricultural extension revitalisation bill, and the process has begun with the cooperation of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the WOFAN ICON-2 Project, and many other stakeholders in preparing the draft bill.

“We will put all our hands on deck to ensure that the Bill becomes an act of parliament to drive the Nigerian agricultural extension system,” he said. Members of the visiting team during the Bill presentation to the Senate Committee Chairman on Agricultural Productivity and Rural Development are Hajia Salamatu Garba, Honourable Munir Dan’agundi, Professor Sani Miko, and Professor Emmanuel Ikani.