National, News, Politics

Minister suggests tax exemption on agricultural machineries

Onyoti Adigo Nyikwech, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries (File/Photo: Philip Buda Ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries has suggested that agricultural machineries and tools should be exempted from taxes at the custom in order to encourage farmers to boost food production in the country.

Oil revenues account for 91 percent of the 2021/2022 fiscal year national budget, that’s according to the Ministry of Finance and Planning draft budget presented to the Transitional National Legislature.

The government has always sung of diversifying the country’s economy through agriculture, something that still remains to be operationalized.

Agriculture is viewed as the backbone of the economy but little has been done to realize its potentials in salvaging the oil-dependent economy.

Onyoti Adigo Nyikwech, the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries while reacting to the 2021/2022 National Budget debate at the parliament on Monday pointed on the need to support the agricultural sector.

He said the agricultural productions needed to be supported, because without production he thinks they will not move ahead as a country, they will remain stagnant and continue being under poverty.

“So, Rt. Hon. Speaker there is a need really to do a lot of work to reinforce the agriculture sector. I would like to suggest that all the agricultural machineries and tools that come into the country should be exempted from taxes in order to encourage the farmers to produce more,” Minister Adigo proposed.

He added that, there is need to inject much money into the Agricultural Bank. “The Agricultural Bank is now dying, but there’s a lot of need for intervention by injecting a certain amount of money which is the capital of the government,” Minister Adigo asserted.

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries said the issue of revamping the Agricultural Bank has been raised from time to time by the parliament and nothing is taking place, saying “There is a need really to inject certain amount of money to the Agricultural Bank so that we rescue this Agricultural Bank,” he reiterated.

Mr. Adigo also said private sector investment is very important which need to be supported by the government as well through its National Budget allocations. He argued that the private sector is not being prioritized currently.

“The private sector is very important and we are not even encouraging private sector at the present moment. I think there is need for the private sector to be promoted by supporting them with loans so that they are able to produce more,” Adigo emphasized.

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