Following complaints of underfunding, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on Thursday, assured the National Bureau of Statistics of the Federal Government’s commitment to provide adequate funding for the Bureau’s operations.
The former Statistician-General of the Federation, Yemi Kale had in August said that one of the major challenges facing the Bureau was poor funding.
The Minister who spoke at the sensitization workshop for the National Agricultural Sample Census held in Abuja explained that improved funding will not only enable the Bureau better execute their programmes but also provide reliable data on various sectors of the economy.
According to her, reliable data is critical to achieving the development aspirations of the government in the agricultural sector.
She said, “The Bureau is among the very few agencies of Government to have recorded close to 100percent releases of its annual capital budget in recent years.
“Let me assure you that government is determined to sustain this arrangement in the coming years even in a better form.
“This is a further demonstration of the commitment of this administration to use the instrumentality of sound statistics in designing appropriate policies to grow and develop all aspects of the nation’s economy.”
Speaking on the importance of the sensitization programme, Ahmed said that the agricultural sector is one of the most important sectors in Nigeria, which is not only vital for economic output and employment purposes, but more importantly, it is an essential part of the societal culture.
The importance of this sector, she said, has been demonstrated by the current regime, through the heavy investments channeled into it since 2015.
According to the Minister, the aim of these investments is to increase output in the entire value chain to meet the nation’s demand for food, employment, and export earnings.
She assured that the present regime will continue to invest in all aspects of the agriculture value chain, taking advantage of all available resources, both human and natural to grow and develop the sector in order to derive the maximum benefit possible.