Federal Government To Restructure Bank of Agriculture


The Federal Government is to restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to support its diversification programme.

The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave the hint at the launch of Capacity building and institutional strengthening of Bank of Agriculture in Kaduna.

Ogbeh, represented by Mr. Godwin Obinna-Opara, said the restructuring was aimed at strengthening the bank for optimal service delivery to farmers.

He said restructuring, re-capitalising and repositioning BoA was one of the programmes President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval.

He said the bank remained a key instrument for funding agricultural activities to help diversify the economy and move away from over reliance on oil.

“At no other time in the history of Nigeria that government had taken such interest and time to assess the operations of BoA to explore these potentials by adopting appropriate financing measures needed. Our country needs a financing mechanism that will help small holder farmers, agro-prenurials and SMEs access credit facilities at affordable cost. As a matter of fact, we’re looking at a single digit interest rate, that is what we believe in the ministry,” Ogbeh said.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor on Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), Mr Paul Eluhaiwe, said the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) “is sick and needs restructuring”.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh

He said BoA had the needed resources to turn its fortunes for the better.

“Posterity will not forgive us if we fail to turn it around because the bank has all the resources in this world to be turned around for the good of Nigerian farmers.

Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Director-General Dr Vincent Akpotaire said BoA would be restructured to meet a model that would assist in doing agro- business, particularly with rural populace who are mostly farmers.

Akpotaire said: “Specifically, policy and regulation of the bank would undergo the needed restructuring, staff capacity and financial base. “Its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will also be restructured to meet international standard in agro-allied enterprises. I wonder why BoA will not succeed in Nigeria, if others have succeeded somewhere else in the world; there must be checks and balances in loan being given out. BoA should not just be a conduit for giving out loan, it should also be a conduit to recovering the loan being given out.”

Meanwhile, AfDB Chief Country Programme Officer Mr Andoh Mensah said the economic downturn had weakened BoA in bridging the gap between rural and urban populace in terms of accessing loans.

He pledged the support of the AfDB to BoA, saying: “We remain committed to working with BoA.’’

Earlier, BoA’s Acting Managing Director Mr Babatunde Igun said the bank was financially weak in addition to other challenges militating against its optimal performance.

He said the bank was working to improve its staff skills to enhance their capacity for effective service delivery.

Igun assured that the bank would brace for modern agricultural activities that would attract competitiveness and deliver its core mandate to farmers.

The AfDB recently approved a grant of $1.1 million for the Bank of Agriculture for its restructuring aimed at staff training to strengthen service delivery.


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