The National Assembly has commended the Federal Government for the improved releases of fund for capital and overhead expenditure of research and training establishments in the agricultural sector.
The Chairman,Senate Committee on Agriculture, Sen.Abdullahi Yahaya (APC-Kebbi ) said this in a chat with Newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
Yahaya said the performance of the budget by the institutions has been impressive.
“The performance of the budget has been very impressive, in most aspect, disbursement has reached over 70 per cent in most areas about, 100 per cent has been disbursed for capital projects.
“This is different from what has been happening in the past, when budget implementation was hovering around 50 to 60 per cent, but from 2019 to date, inspite of the economic challenges that government has been facing.
“It has been able to finance its capital projects about 70 per cent and in most cases above and up to 100 per cent.
“It is an improvement over what has be happening in the past decades before this time.
“In spite of the revenue challenges,the government has done quite impresively in funding this institutions and getting their releases on.
” I will also use the opportunity to really extend our own appreciation to the fiscal authorities for the credibility and desterity they have shown in funding institutions from 2019 to date,” he said.
The former senate leader said that although the revenue accruing to the federal government was getting lower, the releases to the institutions have been very impressive.
He said the committee after conclusion of the 2023 appropriation would inspect some of the physical achievements that have been made by the institutions.
On the internal revenue revenue generated by the organisations, Yahaya said there were lots of issues that pertained to revenue generation, adding that some of the issues were legal in nature.
According to him, there are certain legal and procedures challenges that prevents some of the organisations from undertaking commercial activities.
He advised the agencies to develop their capacities to be at par with the private sector to invest in development activities.
“So unless, there is a new thinking to allow some of these institutions, particularly the research institutes to also engage in investing in development activities, apart from that, some of their revenue drive will be very abysmal,” he said.
He also advised the research institutions to develop technologies and partner with the private sector to turn their innovations into production.
“The most important thing is to develop technologies and partner with private sector, which is a better manager ofinvestment resources than government institutions.
“So the major issue is to make sure that the scientific research institutions linked up with their industrial concerns either as developers of patents and technologies, bringing the innovations developed at research level and popularising them for adoption by farmers.
” Because some of these industrial goods that can be manufactured by some of these institutions, the major issue is to connect the research institute with the manufactures and industrialists, if we can establish this connection ,I think the sky is our limit,” he said.
Recalls that the committee had in the week engaged the research and training agricultural institutions on the implementation of their 2019,2020 and 2021 budgets.(NAN)