Nigeria wouldn’t have this current cost of living crisis if previous governments had implemented the Maputo Declaration signed by President Obasanjo in 2003. Over to you Jagaban


Ayo Akinfe

[1] I hope President Bola Tinubu is aware that in 2003, President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the Maputo Declaration compelling the federal and 36 state governors to spending 10% of their annual budgets on agricultural projects?

[2] Designed to combat unemployment, guarantee food security and ensure no African nation is wholly dependent on one commodity, the Maputo Declaration was supposed to represent a commitment to economic diversification

[3] At the Second Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African

heads of state and government endorsed the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa. It contained several important decisions regarding agriculture but prominent among them was the commitment to the allocation of at least 10% of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years. This treaty has been enacted into Nigerian law, so legally, our states governors are bound by it

[4] At that Maputo summit, African leaders also signed up to recognising the need to expand and further develop quality-assured laboratory services as part of a greater framework of health system strengthening. This committed them to finding cures for ailments like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis

[5] Among other things, the Maputo Declaration also committed Nigeria to guaranteeing the elimination of discrimination against women, access to justice and equal protection before the law, the right to sustainable development and the protection of women in armed conflicts

[6] Just ask yourselves where Nigeria would be today if every one of our state governors adhered to the principles of the Maputo Declaration on agriculture. If each state spent 10% of its budget on agriculture since 2003, there would be no nomadic herdsmen in Nigeria today

[7] Just take Zamfara State for instance where bandits claim they took up arms because their livestock were stolen. If the Zamfara State government spent 10% of its budget on agriculture, just imagine how many secure cattle ranches it would have built for them to raise their livestock in peace with security

[8] When I look at states with huge land masses like Niger, Borno, Bauchi, Taraba, Yobe and Kaduna, I can see what the results of spending 10% of budgets on agriculture would do. It would build cattle ranches, animal feed compounders, processing plants, dairy factories and expand the production of crops that go into feed compounds like millet, sorghum, sugarcane, cassava, groundnut meal, maize, sunflower seed, soyabeans, etc

[9] For perishable crops like tomatoes, pepper, onions, fruit, vegetables, etc, a 10% spend on agriculture would mean investing in refrigerated silos, refrigerated trucks and modern storage facilities. As we speak about one third of Nigeria’s farm produce goes to waste due to poor storage, transportation and processing facilities

[10] For me, this Maputo Declaration is Nigeria’s alternative to oil. By now, we should have expanded it to the point whereby we are now manufacturing machinery to process foods and the refrigerated trucks and trains to transport them