Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, says the appointments into the federal government’s boards, parastatal and agencies might be “back on track” at the beginning of 2017.
He made this known in an interactive session with state house correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday.
The delay in the appointments of members of the boards and agencies has been generating interest and comments from various quarters, particularly from members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
But Shehu said the development was being looked into. “You know that the reconstitution began methodically, from sector by sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the New Year,” he said.
“The president has given directions on what to do.”
On the agricultural programmes of the federal government, Shehu said President Muhammdu Buhari’s “persistent calls for a return to farming” was yielding good results.
“The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy,” he said.
“We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output. What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services.”
According to him, new farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better, and the readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.
“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favuorable environment for the diversification of the economy,” he said.
“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating- Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their share of the market.
“Manufacturers who are hooked on import of raw materials are advised to re-strategise and take full advantage of local raw materials.”