By: Bamidele Fashube
THE Presidency has earmarked the sum of N11.57 billion to revive the activities of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).
NALDA was established in 1992 but went into extinction in the year 2000. It was recently revived by the President as part of efforts to promote the nation’s agriculture sector.
Breakdown of the approved budget for the agency shows N693.14 million was allocated for NALDA’s personnel, N400 million for the overhead cost and N10.48 billion as capital allocations for the authority.
The entire allocations for the agency’s 2021 activities are summed to N11,576,563,335.
AgroNature had in November last year reported how President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the restoration of all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates in the country.
The decision was to further encourage youths to embrace agriculture, even as he launched the national young farmers scheme.
The President had assured that restoring the farm estates would foster food sufficiency as the nation hope to venture into exports to earn more revenue into its coffers.
“I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming,” Buhari stated.
“This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years, we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange.’’
Meanwhile, further budget breakdown of the agency revealed NALDA is to spend N300 million for the construction/provision of office buildings.
It would also spend N3.73 billion for road construction and N2.22 billion for provision of agricultural facilities as part of its capital expenditure for the year.
It was discovered in the budget line up (ERGP1157456) that the agency would specifically spend N466.85 million to rehabilitee existing NALDA farm estates in the six geopolitical zones.
A similar project is the provision of storage facilities at N302.43 million for finished farm produces in the six geopolitical zones.
Moreover, N423.10 million has been approved for the to establish Banana or Rice plantations in partnership with some state governments.
“Land development, bush clearing and soil testing services (3000 HA) for the six geopolitical zones for the NYFS,” ERGP1157522 of the 2021 approved budget line reads.
Beyond these, there are monetary allocations for storage, packaging, distribution and marketing of fish products from the six geopolitical zones. N66.7 million was also budgeted for this.
It is, however, worthy of note that some of the project’s execution is largely dependent on releases secured from Office of the Accountant General of the Federation. Still, the Public Procurement Act (PPA) of the Bureau of Public Procurement mandates spending must be within what was budgeted for in the budget line ups.