Kebbi State Governor Seeks FG Support On Better Lending For Agriculture, The Kebbi State Governor , Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has sought for the support of the Federal Government on better lending programmes to strengthen agriculture in Nigeria.
The Governor made the call in Birni Kebbi on Tuesday to round off the two days tour of rice farms in the state by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and 30 journalists on his entourage.
Bagudu noted that the total amount of money made available for under the anchor borrowers programme is appreciable, but insufficient compared to what is obtainable in other sectors of the country.
” For N54b is the total amount of money made available under the anchor borrowers programme. It is not little, we thank Federal Government, Central bank because this is the first time it is
happening in Nigeria, but it is even little money compared with what goes on in other sector.
“for example when the asset management company was created in 2010, it was created to take over bad loans from the commercial bank system, N4 trillion bad loans was not just in one sector, it was oil and gas, shares certificate, land certificate.”
He said although the 54billion anchor borrowers programme for 31agricultural producing state has resulted in a magic seen in terms of increased agricultural production across the country.
“That spending of N54b has resulted in the magic we have seen in terms of food production should be a bigger story than repayment challenges that should occasion any programme like this.”
He indicated that NNPC in two months spends about N180billion naira on subsidy alone, while the country’s lending to agriculture under anchor borrowers programme for 2.5 years across 31 states is just N54billion naira. necessitating the need for massive investment in agriculture to be able to attain food sufficiency and security.
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“so we need massive investment in agriculture. Countries that have achieved food sufficiency spent decades supporting agriculture, subsidizing providing different producer support. Two months that fuel subsidy alone is about N180b but yet our lending to agriculture under anchor borrowers for 2.5 years across 31 states is just N54b so we need massive investment in agriculture. Countries that have achieved food sufficiency spent decades supporting agriculture, subsidizing providing different producer support. he said
On the issue of defaulters if the anchor borrowers programme, Bagudu stressed that there isn’t a situation where defaulters would be ruled out, adding that about 70,000 farmers incorporated into the scheme.
” Yes when we are dealing with 70000 farmers there are bound to be default situations, just like we have been arguing, farmers are business men and that is one of the thing we want you to help
“If a farmer faces a repayment issue just like a company will face a repayment issue occasionally, what is important is to work with him or her so that he can continue, it is not unusual. Farmers must be encouraged to pay, and the financial system should be mindful of their challenges and treat them like they will treat other customers and work with them as an ongoing concern in order for them to meet their obligations.”
He said a lot of farmers are still not incorporated under the anchor borrowers programme, and urge the Federal government to ensure other farmers are carried along to pave way for quick and better agricultural production.