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Agribusiness framework to strengthen private/public sector synergy –NABG

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The Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG) says the Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework (CAP-F) is to strengthen public and private sector activities to boost investments in the sector.

The Vice President, NABG, Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, made the assertion at the CAP-F Stakeholders Sensitisation webinar held in partnership with Grow Africa on Tuesday in Lagos.

Grow Africa is a partnership platform that seeks to accelerate investments and transformative change in African agriculture based on national agricultural priorities.

It does so in support of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), a Programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), established by the African Union in 2003.

Ijewere, in his welcome address, called on the Federal Government to draw up policies that would get the private sector involved in investments, rather than take the responsibility of doing business.

According to Ijewere, the CAP-F programme is for the purposes of creating an environment of cooperation and coordination.

It is also to create a situation where both parties recognise each other as being essential for the success of agricultural future of Nigeria.

“The NABG has always had this responsibility of working from the side of the private sector and taking them to government, but we always have the problem of government not understanding us and us not understanding them.

“Government is the bigger and more powerful partner, and then the private sector implements those government policies.

“Once we start understanding these, we shall start making progress and those in government will realise that if they do not work with the private sector, the purposes of governing will be lost.

“The private sector is in business, to do business to make money and if they fail to do it because of government policies, they too are losers, so this is an opportunity for us getting together,” he said.

He said that government was in charge of policies and such policies should encourage the private sector to invest, to benefit both parties.

On the part of the private sector, Ijewere, encouraged them to keep away from government, adding that continuity was essential to the development of the economy.

The Country Manager, Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA), Dr Kehinde Makinde, in his remarks, said that AGRA was focused on strengthening inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa.

Makinde said: “We recognise that, that is not possible except we have the government leading the process of transformation, working in alignment with the different actors that we have in the agricultural sector in achieving the country’s desired economic objectives for agricultural development.”

The Chief Operating Officer, Grow Africa, Mr Ibrahim Gourouza said that CAP-F, if anything, was a strategic framework designed by Africans for Africa towards the transformation of Africa in the continent.

Gourouza said that the process of implementing CAP-F usually started with consultations with all the stakeholders in the ecosystem.

According to him, there are some quick wings in the agriculture value chains such as; distribution, production, marketing, processing, among others.

He advised that the dialogue should continue so that the implementation would be at ease, noting that all that had been done would be fruitless and meaningless without the right financial mechanisms.

The Vice President, Corporate/Government Relations, OLAM Nigeria, Mr Ade Adefeko, in his goodwill message, commended all the parties involved in the presentation of CAP-F which showed an effort towards the growth of Africa and building mutual partnerships.

Adefeko said that, against the backdrop of the next generation, food security is very important and critical to Africa’s livelihoods.

The Director-General, NABG, Dr Manzo Maigari, while responding to how the group had engaged government in policy formations, said it had played active roles, especially in the drafting of the Nigerian Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) by the Federal Government.

Maigari said that the NATIP document would be a shift from the traditional ways in which agriculture had before now been handled.

“What we made clear to the government was that they must necessarily see agriculture as a business and see themselves as facilitator, rather than players in the business,” he said.

A one-minute silence was held for the late Alhaji Sani Dangote, who was President of the NABG before his death on Nov 14.

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