Posted by News Express | 21 November 2016 | 2,820 times
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has reiterated the Bank’s commitment in diversifying the country’s economy from oil to agriculture. He spoke on Saturday, November 19, at the flag-off of the dry season wheat farming and distribution of wheat seeds as well as other farm inputs to farmers under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“Our commitment is resolute and we will continue in our quest to diversify from oil and make the rural farmers millionaires,” Emefiele said.
He said commendation for whatever is achieved under the programme should be directed to President Muhammadu Buhari for showing focus and commitment in diversifying from oil and gas to agriculture and reduce heavy reliance on imported food into the country.
Mr. Emefiele commended the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for the purchase and distribution of farm inputs to the farmers at highly subsidized rate. The CBN Governor assured that with the Sokoto State meeting its equity counterpart funding, the state will access the N220 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
He also assured that the ABP loans will be disbursed in due course through the bank of Agriculture (BOA).
Speaking at the occasion, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 commended the Emefiele over the bank’s initiation of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
The Sultan appreciated the CBN for making the dry season farming possible with its support of funds for the programme saying that the bank's commitment is worthy of celebration at all times. Alhaji Abubakar maintained that the Anchor Borrowers' Programme is key to ensuring food security for the nation.
The royal father enjoined farmers to continue to be diligent in their farming activities as oil will only provide funds but will not put food on the table.
Speaking further, the Sultan said there is need for partnership among Governments at all levels to evolve solution to end the farmers and herdsmen crisis. He added that the inability to resolve the crisis will frustrate government efforts at food security and make the exercise to end in futility.
Sultan Abubakar gave his assurance that government can count on his support in tackling the incessant crisis between the two groups.
The Kebbi State Governor and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said tremendous success has been achieved since the launch of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (APB) by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 in Birin-Kebbi.
Alhaji Bagudu revealed that where farmers have benefited from the ABP, their yields have increased tremendously. The Kebbi State Governor said Nigeria farmers are hard working but missing link has been too little funding to agricultural activities. He also said that if the country is willing to ensure food security, government must be willing to ensure that consumer rate funding is made available to fund farming.
The Kebbi State Governor added that adequate funding will guarantee the diversification and transformation in the agricultural sector and Nigeria will in no distant time be not only sufficient in rice production but also a major exporter in the region.
The Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the state with an estimated population of about 5 million, almost 85% of the population are engaged in farming as their main occupation. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives said the crux/objective of agriculture in Sokoto State is to reduce poverty and achieve sustenance farming to help cater for the well being of the farmers.
Alhaji Tambuwal disclosed that with the advent of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, 12,000 wheat and 25,000 rice farmers have been registered as well as the establishment of small holder millers for wheat in Eleven Local Government Areas and 12 LGAs for rice production in Sokoto State.
He assured that the State government will continue to pursue policy framework that will ensure the improvement of Agriculture and its value chains.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of farm inputs as wheat seeds, fertilizers, and hand held water pumps to the farmers as well as visits to the Flour Mills Nigeria in Taloka and Goronyo Dam built in 1984 and has the capacity to irrigate 36,000 hectares of farm lands by gravity and 88,000 at the optimum potentials/capacity.
•Photo shows (L-R) CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, Sokoto state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Sultan of sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, at the flag-off ceremony for 2016 dry season wheat farming in Isa local Government Area, Sokoto State, on Saturday.
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