Saturday, 30th September 2023

Outgoing president withdraws to the sidelines – Part 4

By Eric Teniola
22 December 2022   |   3:55 am
These programmes cover vital areas of agriculture, education, employment generation, environmental protection, micro-credit delivery, healthcare, housing and resource/technology development.


(H) to commission and support studies and research projects that will facilitate the execution of the functions of the Directorate (i) to determine within each local government each local government area of the community basis of rural productive organisation  as a means of mobilising  food and other products for more effective service delivery, infrastructural development and enhanced productivity (j) to identify and involve local community leaders and organisations in the effective mobilisation of the rural population for sustained development activities, bearing in mind the need for promoting greater social participation and economics self reliance in the community (k) to liaise with Federal Government Ministries and Agencies in the design and implementation of programmes and projects in the field and implementation of programmes and projects in the field of food production and processing, rural water supply, road construction and maintenance and the provision of rural infrastructures and any other rural development activities (l) to define, encourage and support any activities calculated to enhanced food production, road development, rural water supply, the provision of infrastructure to rural areas and any other rural development activities (m) to encourage the implementation of physical development plans at the community level in order to increase rural, productivity and improve rural accessibility (n) to prescribe the criteria and determine the level of corresponding financial grant which will adequately stimulate the expansion of food production and processing rural water supply, road construction  and maintenance of rural roads and the provision of other rural infrastructure (o) to establish an efficient, expeditious and accurate system of financial disbursement to rural communities (p) to supervise and monitor on a continuous or regular basis the entire rural development activities carried out or supported by the Directorate pursuant to this Decree (q) to develop a system of statistical and non-statistical  reporting relative to local communities in order to measure the achievements of the Directorate  in the area of food production, rural water supply, road construction and repair, rural infrastructural development and other rural development activities and (r) to do all such other things as will enable the Directorate  more effectively to perform its function under this Decree.  

Other Intervention programmes and agencies include People’s Bank of Nigeria headed by Dr. Tai Solarin (August 20, 1922- 27 July 1994) and Mrs. Maria O. Sokenu (May 1, 1946- October 22, 2005) (Chairman and Managing Director respectively), Family Support Programme, Family Support Trust Fund, Family Economic Advancement Programme, Primary Healthcare, Diseases Eradication Schemes, National Land Development Agency and Strategic Grains Reserve, etc.  

These programmes cover vital areas of agriculture, education, employment generation, environmental protection, micro-credit delivery, healthcare, housing and resource/technology development. Accordingly, they can be classified into sectors as follows: National Agricultural Land Development, Strategic Grains Reserve, Small-scale Fishery, Small Ruminant Production, Pasture and Grazing Reserves, Accelerated Crop Production, Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, Primary Healthcare Programmes, Diseases Eradication Schemes, Expanded Programmes on Immunisation, Site and Services Scheme, Prototype Low-Cost Housing Scheme, State-Government’s Housing Programmes, Nomadic Education Programme, Migrant Fishermen Scheme, Adult and Non-Formal Education Programme.

Others are Family Support Basic Education Programme, Family Economic Advancement Programme, Industrial Development Centres, National Directorate of Employment, Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Soil Erosion Control, Ecological and Disaster Relief Programme, Nigerian Agricultural Co-operative Bank, Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry, Nigerian Industrial Development Bank, People’s Bank of Nigeria, National Economic Reconstruction Fund and Community Banks. 

On the Ahmed Joda’s Panel Report, the full recommendations must be implemented by the next President.  The recommendations summarised are for both the core and indirect poverty alleviation Institutions, Agencies and Programmes.

The Panel recommended that the NDE should: Be restricted to training for skills acquisition, vocational training and general programmes associated with employment generation, ensure that the skills acquisition programme is diversified to cover electronics, computers, high technological skills, disengage totally from micro-credit delivery and generating/maintaining a data bank on employment and vacancies availability in the country, liaise with the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and  Productivity for detailed information on State by State training needs, and also liaise with relevant institutions delivering credit to poverty alleviation institutions for the resettlement of those that have gone through its training, 

They are also to ensure that the loans already given out are aggressively recovered, ensure that in addition to focusing its attention on school leavers and graduates, retired workers, unemployed and retraining programmes are given adequate attention, embark on restructuring, rationalisation and downsizing in accordance with its recommended new mandate, be considered as a core poverty alleviation institution and the supervisory role of the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity transferred to the proposed NAPEC and have its statutes reviewed to reflect its new mandate and focus. 

Among other recommendations made by the panel were that all the rural activities of all these ministries should be transferred to NAPEC, which will co-ordinate them. They are to be executed by the states and local governments directly and the Ministry of Agriculture should be re-structured and should relinquish its following activities to states and local governments: Tractor hiring, land clearing and development, horticulture, fertiliser distribution, seeds and seedlings propagation and distribution, agro-forestry, extension services, inland fishing and co-operatives development. 

The Ministry of Agriculture should also transfer the co-ordination of the Agricultural Universities to the National Universities Commission, which has better facilities and capacity to supervise the universities. 

The Panel recommended in addition the need to setup targets in the struggle to eradicate poverty in Nigeria. In view of the foregoing commendations, three Federal Ministries / institutions should be entrusted with the mandate for the primary effort to eradicate poverty in Nigeria. These are: Federal Ministry of Education in charge of UBE, Federal Ministry of Health in charge of Primary Healthcare matters and National Poverty Eradication Commission (NAPEC) in charge of employment generation, development of rural infrastructure and economic empowerment.

Also, the panel recommended four-year targets for the Federal Ministry of Education that the adult literacy rate in the country to increase from its current level of 51 per cent to 71 per cent.

In addition the panel recommended that the Federal Government should pay attention to the development and nurturing of a culture of good governance as a precondition for national development. We are not unaware of the, fact that a lot has been said and or written in this country on this issue. What has, however, been lacking until the advent of this administration is putting these into practice. 
• To be continued tomorrow.

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