Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Sabo Nanono, says the livestock sector is Nigeria’s next biggest economic changer than oil and gas. This disclosure is coming as Abuja has set up an Anti-Multi Taxation Committee to eliminate the prevalence of multiple taxation and imposition of illegal taxes on agricultural produce in transit.
The country’s livestock sector, according to Nanono, can generate up to N33 trillion worth of investment and transform the economy, pointing out that Nigeria’s livestock has huge economic potential “which should be explored and harnessed”.
He said the sector currently contributes 17 percent to the nation’s agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In light of this, the National Livestock Breed Improvement Initiative, which was recently launched in Kano State, is part of the ongoing efforts by the ministry to transform the livestock sector in the country.
“In Kano, I inaugurated the pilot scheme of the National Livestock Breed Improvement Initiative aimed at increasing the dairy potentials of our indigenous dairy cows and meat yield of our national herd. The livestock sector has a huge economic potential netting N33 trillion which should be explored and harnessed”, the minister said.
Continuing, he said the broad plan of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is to ensure that Nigeria transitions into an agriculture-based economy, adding that it had begun the implementation of agricultural mechanization which is aimed at boosting cultivation and output.
“This will ensure that we have more than enough to feed the population and export to neighboring countries. We are also deepening our extension services to grow the agricultural sector and make farming an informed profession”, he adds.
However, multiple taxations on the movement of agricultural produce has caused unnecessary blockages on the country’s highways, the government said.
Nanono, made this known while inaugurating a seven-man committee to work out modalities that will change the narrative of multiple taxations for agricultural produce in transit, in Abuja on Thursday.
In a statement later by Ahmed Aminu, the Technical Adviser (Media) to the minister, the committee will ensure the formulation of necessary regulation that will help address existing problems that could jeopardise the nation’s quest for food security.
The minister noted that the ministry under his leadership has the mandate of coordinating and organising market for agricultural produce in the country.
According to him, “problems of multiple taxations for agricultural goods moving from the Northern to the Southern parts of the country resulted in a strike action by traders recently which caused untold hardship and hiking of prices for key agricultural produce especially in the southern part of the country”
Nanono said his ministry will work with relevant sister Ministries and Agencies to formulate a Unified Single Tax Regime for agricultural produce in transit adding that he will also hold consultations with the Governors Forum and other relevant stakeholders to back the initiative.
The committee is headed by the Director, Veterinary Services, Dr. Olaniran Alabi and has the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, among others, as member.