CBN to provide affordable finance to rural farmers
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has assured the apex bank’s collaboration with the National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) to develop integrated farms across the country, provide affordable and accessible finance to farmers in rural communities in addition to providing jobs for the teeming population.
Emefiele noted that NALDA, an integrated farm estate, is expected to serve as an agricultural hub for inhabitants with its wide range of facilities to support farming, processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres among other facilities.
He spoke recently at the inauguration of the first National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje Daura, Katsina State.
The CBN boss expressed the Bank’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.
Commending the Buhari administration for resuscitating NALDA to optimally deliver on its mandate, Emefiele stressed 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 also urged deposit money banks in the country to support the NALDA mandate, which he noted, aligned with the developmental priorities of the CBN.
Speaking further, Emefiele added 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.
“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.
In his contributions, the host-Governor, Bello Masari and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, expressed gratitude for the commitment of Buhari’s administration to boost agriculture for food security and employment generation.