Posted By Godwin Onyemaechi
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the bank would collaborate with the National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) to develop integrated farms across the country.
He said the farms would provide affordable and accessible finance to farmers in Nigeria’s rural communities and provide jobs for its teeming population.
Emefiele spoke during the inauguration of the first National NALDA Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje Daura, Katsina State.
Emefiele said the bank would collaborate with the NALDA to develop integrated farms across the country, provide affordable and accessible finance to farmers in Nigeria’s rural communities and provide jobs for its teeming population.
He noted that the NALDA integrated farm estate would serve as an agricultural hub for inhabitants of the area with its wide-range of facilities to support rearing of poultry, goat and rabbit pens as well as fish ponds, crop farming areas, processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres, and an administrative facility.
Emefiele therefore expressed the CBN’s readiness to work with NALDA to replicate similar integrated farm projects in rural communities in order to make life more meaningful for inhabitants of those areas through the provision of affordable and accessible finance to the beneficiaries under the integrated farm programme.
During the inauguration, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated that his administration remained committed to the goal of ensuring that Nigeria produces what Nigerians eat and eating what the country produces.
The president also restated that the government was determined to get 100 million Nigerians out of poverty during his tenure, stressing that he would continue to drive policies that will ensure food sufficiency and boost exports.
While commending the Buhari administration for resuscitating NALDA to optimally deliver on its mandate, Emefiele noted that Nigeria’s survival as a country was hinged on the resourcefulness and synergy among the government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in areas of policy formulation and implementation, which he emphasised was essential to the attainment of Nigeria’s desired economic growth.
He said the apex bank would partner NALDA and explore the potential of providing affordable and accessible finance to the beneficiaries under the integrated farm programme.
This, he added, would scale up productivity and provide jobs for Nigerians. He also urged deposit money banks to support the NALDA mandate, which he noted aligned with the developmental priorities of the CBN.
Speaking further, Emefiele reiterated that the CBN, through the deployment of well targeted intervention programmes to farmers in the rural communities, was aiding the government’s efforts at improving job and wealth creation.
“These measures are also supporting our nation’s food security objectives. Nigeria is likely to make significant strides over the next three years in repositioning our agricultural sector for greater growth, given the combined efforts of NALDA, and the CBN’s in making land and credit available to farmers,” he added.
The CBN Governor also emphasised the successes of the Bank through specific interventions such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) and the Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (p-AADS), the Agri/Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), all of which he noted were aimed at stimulating investments in critical sectors and segments of the economy, particularly those with high-growth impact and high employment potential.
Continuing, the Governor said that the measures taken by the Buhari administration had provided finance to key sectors and segments, with their implementation tailored to support the administration’s policy of repositioning Nigeria to become a self-sufficient food producer, creating millions of jobs and supplying the domestic industries with their raw material needs.
“Our development finance efforts were also driven by the need to diversify the economy by reversing the ugly trend of relying largely on revenues from crude oil,” Emefiele said, adding that the CBN was also positioned to ensure the integration of rural farmers into the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan, which is focused on providing five million homes with electricity using renewable energy.
Also speaking the host-Governor, Hon. Bello Masari and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, lauded the commitment of the Buhari administration in boosting agriculture to enhance food security and employment.