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Jonathan moves to repeal Land Use Act

By The Rainbow
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President Goodluck Jonathan has taken a major step towards a repeal of the Land Use Act of 1978 in a bid to ease access to land in the country.

The President in this wise has directed the Presidential Committee on Land Reform to work out modalities for the repeal, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina,said on Monday.

As part of this initiatives, the government plans to set to launch a scheme for young graduates in commercial farming to be known as 'Nagroprenuers''under which it will train 750,000 graduates in commercial farming.

Adeshina, who spoke in Abuja  on Monday at a summit on Realising the Potentials of Agriculture in Africa, observed that Nigeria's economy would not grow without massive investment in agriculture.

The summit  was organised by the Rockefeller Foundation as part of its centenary celebration.

Adeshina  at the summit said that there had been an unprecedented transformation in Nigeria's agriculture sector, adding that the country must look towards agriculture to feed its people and earn foreign exchange.

He said, 'Unless we transform agriculture, our economy can't grow,' he said. 'Millions of our people depend on agriculture for livelihood, not oil; we must look elsewhere if we will continue to feed our people.

'Agriculture has a new frontier for growth; with abundant land and water resources and vibrant labour force, Nigeria has all it takes to use agriculture as its new frontier for growth.'

According to the minister, the country has no reason to be an importer of food items since it has vast arable land and favourable ecology.

Adesina said the presidential committee was tasked to ensure that Nigerians have land titles.

According to him, the President wants the Land Use Act removed from the constitution to ensure that Nigerians can begin to have land titles, which can stand as collateral for lending or accessing funds.

Adesina also said the Federal Government was doing a lot about land registration, in terms of cadastral survey, mapping and ensuring that anybody who wants lands for agricultural purposes could access it.

According to Mr. Adesina, the initiative will change the labour composition of the agriculture sector.

He said that 750,000 young graduates would be trained under the scheme.

His words,  'So we are creating this programme, which would be launched sometime this year. It is called Nigeria Agricultural Entrepreneur (Nagro-preneurs), (involving) about 750, 000 young commercial farmers (who) be graduates from universities.

'This new generation of farmers will take Nigeria well into the future with efficient and comparative agricultural sector. It is a presidential initiative.'

The minister said that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the ministry was a structural transformation of the economy.