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Raise your IGRs, FG charges research institutes



The Federal Government has charged the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria to work towards increasing the internally generated revenue of various institutions under the ARCN.

It said this would help augment the available funds for research, training and agricultural extension activities across the country, and would definitely boost food production in Nigeria.

The ARCN is an agency of the Federal Government that coordinates and monitors agricultural research to increase productivity in the sector for economic development. It trains farmers and also coordinates the activities of National Agricultural Research Institutes.

In his address at the ARCN reform workshop in Abuja, which was made available to our correspondent by the agency on Tuesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the council should strive to raise the IGRs of research institutes.

“The ARCN should strengthen its platform as a means of increasing the internally generated revenue of their institutions in order to augment the available fund for research, training and extension activities,” the minister stated.

He noted that to drive agricultural transformation, research and training were pivotal, adding that “the ministry is poised at prioritising the repositioning of the national agricultural research system for greater productivity through the implementation of the ARCN Act.”

Kyari explained that the amendment of the Act made provisions for efficient management of research and training, including the establishment of spinoff companies to commercialise research products and innovations generated by research institutions.

On his part, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, said the research system of the ARCN urgently requires resuscitation, adding that the council must clearly define the roles and funding for research institutions.

“Having studied the budget of institutes and colleges over a 10-year period, we need to have guidelines, to know areas where funds are usually allocated. And we realised within that context that a lot of money is spent majorly on buildings,  projects, training and salaries.

“But we ask if the money is for cassava, how much have you put into cassava research and others?” Aliyu stated.

The Executive Secretary, ARCN, Prof. Garba Sharubutu, said participants at the workshop would discuss issues that border on revenue generation and the take-off of some strategic companies that would support the drive for food security in Nigeria.

Sharubutu noted that the new performance bills evaluation system would be deliberated upon by participants at the workshop, adding that issues concerning the restructuring of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria would be looked into in its entirety.

The ARCN boss assured the agriculture ministers that research institutes in Nigeria would continue to work hard to provide the support needed from the organisations to ensure food security across the country.



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