In preparation for commencement of the implementation of the NAMEL and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Public Private Partnership on Private Sector Driven Agricultural Mechanization Programme(PSDAMP) which was earlier signed to deploy 10,000 tractors and other farm machineries, NAMEL has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with two leading private sector lead mechanization service providers (MSPs) ; Tractor Owners & Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) and Tractors Owners & Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria (TOHFAN).
This signed MoA qualifies TOOAN and TOHFAN as the accredited MSPs under PSDAMP to offtake and operate the first set of AEHEs to be deployed under the scheme. Prospective operators of the AEHE are expected to be managed and coordinated by TOOAN and TOHFAN in service delivery to small holder farmers. NAMEL working closely with FMARD are currently accessing and structuring other prospective organizations to qualify as MSPs under the programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said: “The government do not have business in managing tractors only private sector has the right structure and mechanism to drive tractor service provision as a business to ensure its sustainability, which is why we have signed a Public Private Partnership – PPP with NAMEL which in turn has led to the MoA signing today between, NAMEL, TOOAN and TOHFAN. He further reassured of Federal Government’s commitment to continuously create the enabling environment for the private sector to lead the process.
The Chief Executive, Nigerian Agricultural Mechanization & Equipment Leasing Company, NAMEL – Dr. Ahmed Adekunle in his remark said: “We have attained this stage only because of the ministry’s firm support to NAMEL to deliver on our joint program of ensuring available, accessible and affordable Mechanization for primary producers in our dear country through a PPP.” He further stressed that NAMEL evolved as a Mechanization ecosystem-based organization to bridge the gaps between stakeholders in ensuring delivery of sustainable Mechanization to commercial, medium scale and smallholder farmers.”
President of TOOAN, Engr. Bitrus Yakubu while speaking at the event said, with Nigeria’s increasing population and food demand, traditional farming methods are inadequate hence the need for innovation.
Engr. Yakubu further commended the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to enhance mechanization service delivery to Nigerian farmers.
Also speaking, President, TOHFAN, Alhaji Danladi Garba highlighted how far they have come since inception with only 9 tractors. He said “In 2003 when we started, we had only 9 tractors, today we have 552 tractors and we hope to increase the number through this PPP”
He expressed delight in the role his organization is playing in the agricultural revolution happening in Nigeria.
Reacting to questions, the head of project coordination in NAMEL, Mr. Innocent Ogririnye, further explained that NAMEL in the entire arrangement serves more as a mechanization ecosystem coordinator syndicating resources and funding from private sector partners for the establishment of the AEHEs and put all structure in place to ensure effective project coordination, 80% loan repayment by the MSPs. The MSPs are the organizations directly responsible for service provision to small holder farmers.