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Leave agriculture to states, Oshiomhole urges FG

By on April 7, 2011

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has urged the Federal Government to leave agriculture in the hands of state governments.

Oshiomhole, who spoke on Wednesday during the delegates, conference of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said that the Federal Government should not have a ministry of agriculture because it was not in control of land.

He said the current structure could aid the diversion of public funds rather than support the provision of food and other agricultural products.

Oshiomhole also called for a review of the revenue allocation formula to allow states access more funding to finance projects.

He said, “The revenue allocation formula gives so much money to Abuja and Abuja has far more money than it needs and that is why there are leakages there.

“For every N1 that accrues to the federation, Abuja collects 52 per cent of it, then the states, plus the FCT and the 774 local governments collect and share the remaining 46.4 per cent. Abuja has no business sinking boreholes. Where we will spend N5m to N10m sinking a borehole, Abuja will sink it for N35m and it will not even be working.

“Why should Abuja preside over the ministry of agriculture when they don’t have land? They go into areas in which they do not have any competence.”

Oshiomhole further accused the Federal Government of failing to remit what it should into the Federation Account, saying some of its agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation were spending some of their revenues without proper approval.

The governor also promised the workers that the state would pay the new minimum wage approved for civil servants.

He said, “I couldn’t justify why we would pay doctors, academics and judicial workers, among others, and then we will just tell the core civil servants, ‘God dey.’ I didn’t think that was right and I said to the doctors that I had made up my mind that in making any approval, I must take into account the consequences for other grades of workers and my commitment is that even if the other 35 states refuse to implement the minimum wage, the Edo State Government, by reason of the fact the Oshiomhole is the governor, has an obligation to implement it.”

source : Punch