ARCN Act Amendment Will Boost Agric Research ― Sharubutu

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The Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Professor Garba Sharubutu, has commended the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, for sponsoring the amendment of the ARCN Act.

According to Professor Sharubutu, the council’s amended act which has been signed by President Muhammadu Buhari has harmonized the boards of the research institutes with the board of the council to enhance the operation of the council with the research institutes it supervises.

Professor Sharubutu further stated that the new act did not only reduce the bureaucracy in the various research institutes, but also reduced the cost of running the council and the research institutes.

Speaking with journalists in his office in Abuja, the ARCN boss commended Senator Abdullahi Adamu for sponsoring the bill. He also commended former Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, Sabo Nanono and the current Minister Dr Mahmood Abubakar for their roles in ensuring that ARCN Act was amended.

“The person I will give real credit to for initiating this bill in order to make sure that the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria actually takes his proper place is Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

“He actually conferred with the agricultural research council management at that time, and said, if you are having these types of boards and we are not having the best, why can’t you come up with a law for us to be able to unify these boards, because in his wisdom it is going to reduce cost, it is going to ensure that there is synergy, it is going to make sure that you now perform your function of designing a research project in tune with what the government policy actually is.

“So honestly, I give him the credit, because he was the sole sponsor of the bill and all of us bought his wisdom, we then went down to work, we toured the whole of this country from one zone to the other. And what we did was we looked at the geopolitical zones, and held meetings with stakeholders, before we came up with a bill.

“And, of course, again, I have to give credit to, to the ministers, in fact, the three ministers that were involved, number one is Audu Ogbeh then Alhaji Sabo Nanono, then this current minister, even though he met it at the tail end, but when his advice was sought, he actually sought serious briefing before he consented to the fact that there is no problem with that bill, that the bill is definitely going to serve the interests of the country.

“We also give credit to the House of Representatives because the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Colleges also participated actively by making sure that they concur with the bill,” he said.

Furthermore, Professor Sharubutu said that there is another bill sponsored by Senator Adamu which seeks to address the issue of funding for Research Institutes and other agricultural related activities.

“This bill (ARCN amendment bill) went together with a bill on the endowment fund. I don’t know how we can thank Senator Abdullahi Adamu, maybe because he has been in the area of agriculture for a long time, he has been an agriculturalist, he has been the chairman of the committee on agriculture for a very long time, so he has all the wisdom.

Rather than making provision for a separate form of funding only for the Research Institutes and the colleges, in his own wisdom, he said let there be an Act that will establish an Agricultural Development Fund.

He explained that this Agricultural Development Fund is supposed to harmonize all the various sources of revenue that are agriculture-related so that the sector will have a TETFUND type of organization so that the Research Institutes will draw from, the colleges will draw from, and the universities of agriculture will draw from.

Professor Sharubutu said those into processing will also draw from the fund and industrialists will now have the option of opting to either come to the development fund or go to the industrial fund to go and draw their money depending on what they want to undertake.

“So, there is a separate bill, and I know that the bill again sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Adamu has passed the Senate, it has also been concurred with at the House of Representatives and we are praying that very shortly, the minister may decide to push it for that for presidential assents,” he added



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