The Nigeria Governors’ Forum hosts workshop to enhance agricultural investment through land reform.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to strengthening agricultural development in the country through inclusive land-based investment in the sector for increased productivity, income generation, and food security in the country.

By June Ifebe.


The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to strengthening agricultural development in the country through inclusive land-based investment in the sector for increased productivity, income generation, and food security in the country.

Land-based investment in Nigeria for a long time has been marred by various challenges ranging from lack of clarity on governance mechanisms; weak administrative support systems for stakeholders; poor data; little or no recognition for inclusion, gender equality, and cultural values; poor engagement with host communities; disproportionate compensation and resettlement for persons displaced. These have impacted negatively on the cost of doing business, agriculture value chain, livelihood, environment and ultimately, economic development.

In addressing some of these challenges, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance through a $750 million World Bank funded program - State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) program- seeks to promote and support the domestication of a Framework for Responsible and Inclusive Land-Intensive Agriculture (FRILIA) at State-level. Associated reforms include the passage of a legal framework clearly setting out the governance and administrative mechanisms as well as a strong commitment to international and proven principles that guarantee recognition, respect and protection of land rights and human rights.

In the last quarter of 2023, the NGF supported 7 States (Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger and Zamfara State) through the process of drafting their executive orders and governance structure to support implementation. Imo, Oyo and Plateau State also leveraged the model templates developed and disseminated by the NGF in drafting their Orders. Each State’s Executive order beyond establishing the governance and administrative mechanisms, emphasises the State’s commitment to ensuring inclusion and gender equality, environmental and social sustainability, food security, responsible natural resource management amongst others.

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To support their efforts at effective implementation of the framework, the NGF, Organised a 3-day workshop 15th – 17th April 2024, attended by representatives of the FRILIA technical committee of the respective States. The workshop was kicked-off by remarks from the Director General, Asishana Bayo Okauru, SABER National Program Coordinator (Director Home Finance, Federal Ministry of Finance) Dr. Ali Mohammed and the World Bank SABER Task Team Leader, Bertine Kamphius. The trio admonished the participants to engage the experts in domestication discussions as they go through the building blocks for implementation. Participants were assured of the support of the various organisations likewise the Federal Government. The States were encouraged to leverage available technical assistance as advisories and capacity building support were free under the SABER program.

The workshop provided further conceptual understanding of the principles; walking through use cases and implementation frameworks domesticated across countries and contexts. Participants were also provided hypothetical case scenarios where they had to apply the understanding gained and identify domestication pathways for principles and implementation frameworks. Forerunner States such as Kaduna and Ogun State who were early adopters of FRILIA were also invited to share implementation experience and lessons. This created an opportunity for peer learning and exchange of ideas on how to do things differently and better. Discussions at the workshop covered Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), Stakeholder Engagement, Community Needs-Assessment, Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM), Land Access, Easement & Involuntary Resettlement Management, Negotiating a Fair Agreement, Valuation and Compensation, Outgrower and Food Security, Global Memorandum of Understanding.

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Participants expressed delight at the opportunity to participate in the workshop which they described as timely and responsive to the challenges facing land-based intensive investment, especially in the Agri-business sector.

“The Knowledge gotten here will help ensure that imo state is part of the states maintaining FRILLA recommended best practices. The framework if implemented fully will lure easy investment in land and deepen the impact in agriculture. I was able to understand the importance of community assessment. I see the need to bring community stakeholders together to access what each community requires based on differences. One of the major challenges is securing an executive order binding all the principles of FRILLA and how to onboard farmers to accept or embrace the tenets of the workshop.
I sincerely wish the workshop will not end. I want to thank the organizers and the lectures for their efforts”
- Mrs Ebuka Blessing Ada, Ag. Pm secretary, Min of Fin. Imo state.

“This training further stresses the fact that there’s need for engagement, sustainable investment and for state government to collaborate with communities over investment opportunities. It buttressed the need to get an MOU with Investors before implementation. I hope the training is going to be continuous as I look forward to another gathering to review our progress or performance so far. We have a department called “the aftercare” at EIPO, this department engages with communities to see how they are coping with the after effect of investment projects in various communities. However, through this training, I have realized that no one time engagement is enough. The workshop was great. I loved the fact that we could compare notes with sister states to help us improve where we may be lacking. “
- Kevin Uwaibi, Director Edo State Investment Promotional Office

“It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of people and learn a lot from peers and at the same time discovering the diverse nature of challenges in agriculture. The workshop for me is an eye opener. Ekiti state is a compact state. What we need is more land management. Going back to my state, I intend to find ways to use this framework to address land management issues and poor inflow of investment in Ekiti state. I look forward to a more enabling environment for investment in my state.”
- Engr. Olugbenga Odesanmi, Perm sec. Min of Agriculture and Food security

“It’s just at the right time. Nigeria as a whole can get it right with this framework. It is one thing to have a system and another to have a system that actually works. Niger state occupies 10% of Nigeria’s land mass and we intend to use a large percent of this land mass to develop and onboard more small holder farmers with the assistance of this framework.”
-Emmanuel Ogu, Head, Investment Promotion and Research, Niger State Investment & Promotion Agency, Niger State.

The workshop culminated in States developing an implementation plan for FRILIA in their State, mapping out key stakeholders, reform steps, and estimated resourcing required to implement or establish each component as well as process. Timelines were also assigned to each activity in the plan for effective monitoring and evaluation of progress.



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