As the Permanent Secretary FMARD Commends NIFAAS and AFAAS

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Bukar Hassan, has remarked that agricultural advisory service provision is critical to national economic growth, especially in Nigeria, where economic recession is biting hard at the people in the grassroots. Dr. Hassan said this recently at his office during a courtesy visit paid him by executives of the Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS) on 14th June 2017.

It is noteworthy that NIFAAS was constituted by the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) in 2012 as its operational country forum (CF) for Nigeria. There are about 20 of such country fora across Africa.

Moreover, by NIFAAS constitution and operational modalities and for the purpose of continuity, the Permanent Secretary (PM) of FMARD is by default the chairman of its Board of Trustees (BOT). The PM, who was recently deployed from the Ministry of Agriculture from the Federal Ministry of Environment, warmly received the delegation and commended the activities of NIFAAS and its mother organization, the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS). NIFAAS had visited to brief him on its activities, as well as to present to him the certificate of BOT Chair.  The delegation was led by the NIFAAS vice president (north), Professor Dele Tologbonse, who represented the president and country focal person, Professor Tunji Arokoyo. Other members of the delegation were Professor Ike Nwachukwu (vice president, south), Professor Adeniji (secretary general), Professor Olusegun Apantaku (PRO), Dr. Margret Koyenikan (Treasure) and Dr. Godfrey Onagwa (CIKM). Also present was Mrs Karima Babangida, Director of Women and Youth Empowerment, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry, Dr. Hassan pledged support for NIFAAS and said “We all know that agricultural productivity in this country or elsewhere cannot succeed without advisory services. In fact, their services are critical to economic growth, because there is a yawning gap between research and real agricultural activities. This is filled by adequate advisory service provision, as is done by NIFAAS in Nigeria, and of course, AFAAS all over Africa…”

“I am highly pleased to learn that this office, that is, the office of the permanent secretary [FMARD] has been honoured with the position of BOT Chairman. I commend NIFAAS for this and must say that it is strategic to government’s desire to permanently strengthen agricultural productivity in this country… I promise you that we would see to it that NIFAAS oversee how agriculture becomes a major enterprise in this nation, viable and highly competitive in all ramifications…” he added.

In his response, Prof. ‘Dele Tologbonse congratulated the PS for his appointment /deployment to FMARD and appreciated him for the audience given to the executive committee. He explained NIFAAS readiness to work with relevant stakeholders to realizing government’s vision for the agricultural sector. Thereafter, the delegation presented to the BOT chairman his membership certificate, a copy of NIFAAS certificate of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) certificate, as well as other materials and publications.

Photo: The Permanent Secretary (FMARD), Dr Bukar Hassan (centre) being given NIFAAS membership certificate by NIFAAS vice president (north), Prof. ‘Dele Tologbonse, while Mrs Karima Babangida (Director, Women and Youth Empowerment, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension) watches on.