By Tanko Mohammed
Some Nigerians have commended the Nine-Point Agenda of the Federal Government, saying it is well conceived but requires enormous political will to drive it to fruition, particularly in agriculture sector.
They noted that the government had also done well in the fights against corruption, however, security sector needed more efforts.
They also lauded the economic diversification drive of the government, noting that “it is the key to creating jobs and reducing poverty.’’
The respondents in separate interviews in Kebbi, Kaduna and Kano states, however, said that a lot still needed to be done in tackling emerging security challenges such as kidnapping and banditry.
The Kebbi Chairman of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), Alhaji Abdullahi Argungu, said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural intervention policies and programmes, had added value to the agricultural sector.
Argungu commended the government’s anchor borrowers programmes meant to assist farmers in boosting crop production in the country.
“I must commend the present administration for its various programmes in the agricultural sector. It has really done well, and we the people of Kebbi state, especially the farmers have benefitted tremendously from the Buhari administration,” he said.
He advised the government to pursue the Nine-Point Agenda with vigour so that Nigerians would feel the impact of the policies.
“I must say that the efforts of the government are rarely felt in other sectors of the economy, but we are grateful in the state as we are more concerned with agriculture than other sectors,” he said.
Argungu appealed to the Federal Government to provide tractors for each local government area in Nigeria for mechanised agriculture.
Alhaji Muhammad Idris, the Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said the administration had laid a legacy of wealth creation, employment generation and economic prosperity through its active policy of agricultural revival.
He commended President Buhari for protecting the interests of local farmers by prohibiting food import, closing Nigeria’s borders and uplifting the value of agricultural produce internally.
“President Buhari did not just close our borders simply because he wants to do so, it is because he has the interest of protecting Nigerian farmers first,” he said.
Idris urged the Federal Government to fulfil its commitment to the provision of finance, farm inputs, implements and training on modern farming methodologies to farmers.
He also praised the Federal Government’s rice intervention programme, saying the initiative saved the nation during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Everywhere was locked down without movement and importation but the local rice production sustained the economy,” he said.
According to him, through RIFAN and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Scheme, rice farmers in the state received various inputs.
He said the inputs included organic fertiliser, agro-chemicals, knapsack sprayers and pumping machines which boosted rice production geometrically.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGASAN), Alhaji Haruna Pambeguwa, lauded the government’s agricultural initiatives.
“I think the Federal Government is really trying its best but more still needed to be done, especially in ensuring that these lofty programmes get to rural farmers.
“This will attract women and the youth to embrace farming,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, some residents of Kafanchan in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State urged the government to intensify efforts in tackling insecurity and reviving the economy.
The residents also called on the Buhari-led administration to step up the fight against corruption.
Mr Peter Averik, the Executive Chairman of Jema’a Local Government Area, said though the Federal Government had made progress in tackling insecurity, some challenges still remained in kidnappings and banditry.
Averik called on the Federal Government to work toward bringing about greater synergy between security agencies and communities if the fight against crime was to be won.
“An effective collaboration between communities and the security outfits is necessary if we are to successfully stage the war against kidnappings and the rest.
“I am urging the Federal Government to look into ways of making such a partnership possible,” he said
On the fight against corruption, he urged the anti-graft agencies to be holistic in the campaign and carry out thorough investigations before presenting it cases in court.
On her part, Evelyn Nyangwa, an economist, commended the economic diversification drive of government, noting that it is the key to creating jobs and reducing poverty.
Nyangwa, however, decried the huge cost of governance, stressing that Nigeria “is set up for bankruptcy with its current governance structure’’.
Mr John Yero, a businessman advised the government to do more in expanding access to quality education as education is the bedrock of any prosperous society.
He implored the government to demonstrate the needed political will to bring to fruition the policies and programmes it had formulated.
“The Federal Government’s nine point agenda looks good on paper, but it has to match words with action.
“The government has to demonstrate that will to see to it that the policies and programmes it has in place translate into better life for all Nigerians,” he added
In Kano, some residents also commended Buhari over the successes recorded in the anti-corruption campaign in the past five years in the country.
They also called for proactive measures to sustain the feat achieved in the campaign for sustainable social and economic development in the country.
Mr Saidu Bala, a bank employee, said that it was necessary for the government to consolidate on the feat achieved to address corruption, promote transparency and accountability in governance.
Bala noted that the president had demonstrated greater political commitment to address the problem of corruption, which had been identified as the major bane in Nigeria’s sustainable development.
“The country is facing many challenges, President Buhari appears to be on the right track to end corruption and build a better Nigeria.
“The fight against corruption made significant progress in view of the high profile people prosecuted and convicted for corruption offences in the past five years.
“The fight against insurgency is encouraging, but much needs to be done in parts of the Northwest and Northcentral regions to end banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities.”
Bala urged Nigerians to support government policies and programmes to fast track efforts in rebranding Nigeria.
Another resident, Mr Muhammad Kasimu, a lawyer, said the president had clearly demonstrated unwavering commitment to building a peaceful and prosperous country.
“President Buhari administration’s agenda on the fight against corruption is best positive thing in the past four decades in the country.
“It is also encouraging the way and manner the President allows the anti-graft agencies free hand to operate without undue interference.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) have achieved a lot under his stewardship.
“Buhari’s transparent leadership style and his respect for the rule of law are a thing of joy to Nigerians and rekindle our hope of a united country,” he said.
Kasimu said that prosecution of suspected officials and recovery of looted funds by the anti-graft agencies “are also commendable’’.
Mrs Rahima Salisu and Ali Musa, both traders, lauded the financial investment schemes initiated by the Buhari administration to support the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Salisu said that women and youth had benefitted from the programme designed to boost women’s social and economic status as well as provide employment opportunities to the youths.
She called for the review of the programme to expand its scope and mobilise participation of more women in urban and rural communities.
“Effective measures are necessary to ensure that targeted population benefit from the programme to reduce poverty and enhance wealth creation in the society,” she said.