Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has lauded the agriculture intervention initiative of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), describing it as very commendable.
The farm, which is located in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state, is supported by NSIA in partnership with Signature Agri Investments.
Speaking at the event over the weekend, Mrs. Ahmed commended the foresight and commitment of NSIA in serving as a catalyst for galvanising tbe much-needed investments in the agriculture sector and its value chain.
Specifically, finance minister applauded the company for staying with the NSIA to “make this investment a releasable one,” saluting the doggedness of the leadership of the NSIA in ensuring that the project is completed within a period of four years, despite the various challenges.
Mrs. Ahmed stated that President Muhammadu Buhari prioritises agriculture not just for increase productivity but for food security.
According to her, “This is the kind of investment and project that we should continue to invest in and replicate in several other parts of our country, so that the community, like we have seen today here, can be engaged in production farming. The example of the increase in yield per hectare is amazing, and this should be encouraged.”
She also noted that the decision of NSIA to partner with the private sector in investing in agriculture is in line with the food security agenda of the federal government, promising that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning would continue to support the Authority as it forges ahead into various other investments while encouraging the agency to invest more in agriculture.
The minister described the Pandagric Novum Limited as the largest maize farm in Nigeria and commended Nasarawa state governor, Mallam Abdullahi Sule, for providing the land for the farming project.
In a remark, Managing Director of NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, noted the surmountable challenges that bedeviled the project from the outset. He solicited more government support in the areas of road infrastructure, communications and power.