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NIRSAL Guarantees Over N101bn Investment In Agricultural Sector

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• Experts task policymakers, stakeholders on effective project management

• Decries high rate of abandoned projects worth trillions of naira

Nigeria has attracted and guaranteed N101.02 billion worth of investment into the agricultural sector over the past four years, according to Nigeria Incentive Risk (NIRSAL), Managing Director, Mr Abdulhameed Aliyu.

Mr Abdulhammed disclosed this while speaking on ‘Effective Project Management a catalyst for agribusiness and national development’, at the 10th National Project Management Conference organised by ProMaCon in Abuja.

According to him, N1.27 billion interest drawback paid to 266 obligors, as well as N4.6 billion claims out of which N4.3 billion has been recovered so far.

He explained that through the Area Yield Index Insurance Product, NIRSAL protected up to N6.5 billion revenue of over 37,399 farmers with over N121 million paid as compensation; created over 400,000 jobs and impacted over 2 million Nigerians, provides GAP trading for 700,000 farmers and 74 extension workers.

While stressing that major government policies currently favour agriculture, Mr Aliyu who was represented by Mr Bayo Oladoja disclosed that Nigerian farmers can earn from the $22 billion import substitution from over $5 trillion food industry required at both local and foreign markets.

While frowning at the capital flight expended yearly on food import to the tune of N22 billion, the NIRSAL chieftain observed that less than 50% of the 84 million hectares of arable land in Nigeria has so far been utilized.

According to him, no fewer than 639 agricultural projects have been guaranteed by NIRSAL during the period under review.

Mr Aliyu explained that the sector has the potential to grow at a rate of 8.37% (N21 trillion) by 2020 against 2.12% (N17.5 trillion) growth rate in 2018.

In the bid to address major national developmental challenges, he underlined the need for Nigeria to adopt and adapt project management principles to drive development and reduce the focus on monitoring and evaluation, poorly tailored programmes, frequent cost over-runs and frequent time over-runs.

In his presentation, the Chief Statistician for the Federation, Mr Yemi Kale observed that there are areas that Nigeria has done well in the area of project implementation, just as he affirmed that the country has failed in other areas.

“We are not where we should be today because of the poor project management process. We have thousands of abandoned projects all over the country and is likely a result of poor project management.

“One of the major reasons why we have not achieved national development is because project management has not been given its rightful place in terms of planning and implementation of policies,” he said.

In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of iCentra, Mr Taopheek Babayeju, observed that “there is an intricate linkage between development and project management.

“It is that indispensable tool that the developed nations and successful organisations have used to achieve developmental and business results.

Studies have shown that organisations that have adopted Project Management in driving their initiatives have succeeded more, no wonder why many organisations both in the public and private sector, local and international now set up Project Management Offices (PMOs) to support their Strategy Units.

“However, is important to note that project management is not about construction, nor it, it is also not just a practice, it is a way of life, it is both science and art of execution which helps to close the gap between strategy and result, between budget and delivery, between aspirations and development.

“Worried by the prevalence of poor project delivery for national development and lack of awareness about the practice of project management, we started out on the journey to ‘Institutionalise Project Management Best Practices in Nigeria’.

“What started as an initiative of iCentra, with support from other organisations soon metamorphosed into an independent legal entity incorporated as ProMaCon Project Management Foundation LTD/GTE.

“ProMaCon has over the years engaged stakeholders from Presidency to the legislature, while hosting several of them as guests, featured 32 keynote and technical speakers from all over the world (Africa, US and UK) hosted about 3,000 local and international delegates, who remain active in our network.

“ProMaCon is not an association but a social enterprise and a platform designed with every practitioners and professionals in mind, irrespective of their body of knowledge, methodology and affiliation, be it PMI, Prince2, IPMA or local associations and institutes. ProMaCon is dedicated to the growth of the project management in Africa through capacity development, stakeholders engagement research & development, and practice development,” Mr Babayeju said.

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