CBN okays 5% interest loan to farmers

By Peter Moses

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday expressed the apex bank’s preparedness to give five percent low interest loan to Nigerian farmers with a view to boosting interest in agriculture.
Emefiele spoke in Abeokuta at the launch of about 110,000 bags of Ofada and parboiled rice produced, processed and packaged by the Ogun state government.
The CBN boss said: “We are going to be looking at providing cheap funding at no more than 5% for those who are going to be accessing facilities to acquire agriculture equipments like thrashers, like harvesters, or those who will be going to fish farming, or those who will be going into feed mills. Be rest assured that if you identify yourself, you will be counted and we will support you.
“We are taking agriculture very seriously, and that is the reason we, at the Central Bank of Nigeria, we have made it a responsibility to say that we will continue to support any effort or attempt by anybody to grow our agricultural sector. Because, in doing his, we produce food for our people; in doing this, we produce jobs for our people; and in doing this we grow our economy.
“The selfish aspect of this, for me, is that it goes a long way to conserve foreign exchange because we will no longer be spending scarce foreign exchange to import agricultural produce, we will now tell ourselves that we will eat what we produce and we will produce what we eat.”
Also speaking at the event, the governor said agriculture remains the only avenue to boost the nation’s foreign exchange, provide food and job as well as grow the economy.
He called for improved cooperation from relevant stakeholders towards supporting the agricultural revolution of the federal government.
Amosun therefore urged other states to emulate such initiative towards achieving self-sufficiency in the sector.
The governor announced that the 50kg is sold for N11, 500 while the 1kg goes for N230.00
He said: “Indeed, since 2015, Nigeria’s domestic production of rice has risen remarkably, with a corresponding drop in imports. This is in line with the federal government’s policy of self-sufficiency envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari”.
“We are intensifying our contribution to the attainment of that vision. We will vigorously pursue the needed partnerships and collaborations, with other state governments, with the federal government, and most importantly, with the private sector in order to actualise this vision.
“In this respect, I wish to acknowledge and commend the laudable efforts and support of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production.”
Also in a remark, Kebbi state Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, who doubles as Chairman of the
Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and production, said “Nigeria has the ability to produce rice competitively.
“Currently, there is no nation that can produce rice cheaper and deliver it to Nigeria and to be imported properly, and for such rice to compete with the rice being produced by Nigerian farmers.”

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