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Nigeria’s new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, assumed duty a few hours after his inauguration.

At the ministry, where he addressed reporters on Wednesday, he said hunger in Nigeria “cannot be compared to what obtains in other countries”.

He said efforts should be made by the Nigerian government to assist other countries in food supply.

“There is no hunger in Nigeria compared to what I saw in India in 1973. What we need is to get our acts together and develop the sector,” he said.

His arrival came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari assigned portfolios to 43 ministers.

While addressing the staff and management of the ministry, the minister promised to work to move the sector forward.

Mr Nanono said the agricultural sector requires the commitment of all.

‘Time to sit up’

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The minister, who appreciated the staff, however, encouraged them to sit up.

He said much work needs to be done, “as the international communities look forward to Nigeria in agriculture, hence the country cannot afford to fail.”

“I studied business administration but have been in the agricultural sector since 1973.

“I am very much interested in agriculture and most people identify me with that. Agriculture has been a sector that has been holding the economy and we need to work in synergy to move to agriculture to the next level,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Umar Bello, said the vision of the ministry is to achieve a hunger-free Nigeria through an agricultural sector that drives income growth.

“Accelerating achievement of food and nutritional security generates employment and transforms Nigeria into a leading player in global food markets to grow wealth for millions of farmers,” he explained.

He said details of the programmes and projects of the ministry will be provided subsequently during the departmental briefings.

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