Lawmakers in Anambra State on Friday lamented the low fund released from the 2019 budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector by state government.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Mr. John Nwokoye (Awka North), made the observation at the ongoing 2020 proposed budget defense by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Nwokoye decried as low the N223 million released to the agriculture sector out of N2.6billion budgeted for the sector in 2019. He said that N45million was released out of N200 million budgeted for Anambra rice project.
“Going by the records before the committee, low or no funds was released to most of the items budgeted for in 2019 for the Agriculture Ministry.
“The funds released from the allocation signaled a not-too-good future for the state as it cannot change the face of agriculture as expected.
“Agriculture is one of the legacy projects of this administration and it requires fund to fully revitalise the sector to play its role in the state’s economy.
Hon. Nonso’s Igwe (Ogbaru Constituency) also decried the deliberate delay in the release of allocated funds to the sector, saying it was affecting the proper implementation of policies.
According to him, it is grossly inadequate to release less than 15 per cent of the money allocated to the sector as it will hinder the development of agriculture in the state.
Mr. Emmanuel Nwafor (Orumba South), advocated proper monitoring and tracking of the allocation to achieve the thrust of the present administration’s agricultural policy.
Responding, Mr. Nnamdi Onukwuba, the Commissioner, Ministry for Agriculture said the ministry had been relying on donor funds and grants to carry out projects and programmes in the ministry.
Onukwuba said they carried out significant programmes and built social infrastructure for farmers in selected areas with the grants.
He said that the ministry was still expecting funds to be released from the office of the Accountant General before the end of the financial year.