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Boi explains disbursements of Cassava floor,rice funds

By FEMI ADEKOYA
10 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
THE Bank of Industry (BoI) has expressed commitments to its mandate of providing funds to boost industrialisation efforts as it has explained the disbursement of funds to millers and master bakers under the Cassava Bread Fund as well as Rice and Cassava Mills Funds.    The Bank, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture…

THE Bank of Industry (BoI) has expressed commitments to its mandate of providing funds to boost industrialisation efforts as it has explained the disbursement of funds to millers and master bakers under the Cassava Bread Fund as well as Rice and Cassava Mills Funds.

   The Bank, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expressed its support for about 174 Members of the Association of Master Bakers of Nigeria who have indicated interest in the Cassava Bread Fund Initiative.

   The Cassava Bread Fund Scheme involves the provision of fund for the acquisition of baking equipment to enable the bakers to achieve principally the inclusion of about 20 per cent cassava flour into wheat flour for baking of cassava bread as well as other confectionary as part of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathanís administration.

    The bank in a statement explained that, the sum of N2.2 billion was earmarked for this category of beneficiaries in form grants and loans.

 Specifically, it explained that under the Cassava Bread Fund, it had disbursed N989.59 million, representing 92 per cent of the approved sum of N1.075 billion to 100 beneficiaries that met basic

requirements for the fund, while another set of 60 beneficiaries on Monday received N537.93 million.

  According to the bank, the members were grouped in two batches, while the sum of N989 million has been disbursed to the first batch of 100 beneficiaries which represents 92 per cent of the approved sum of N1.074 billion.

  It said: ìOut of the approved N2.2 billion earmarked for 174 Master Bakers, 100 beneficiaries have met basic requirements and the sum of N989.590 million representing 92 per cent of the approved sum of N1.075 billion. Of the remaining 74 beneficiaries, only 60 have indicated interest and have met requirements for disbursement of 50 per cent grant amounting to N537.93 million and the requests for these are being processed as the performance bonds were just received on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 and the funds will be released on Monday, February 9, 2015î.

  BoI stated that the Fund is a revolving one and the sustainability of the scheme is considered paramount.

   Consequently, the Bankís Regional Officers have been engaged in visiting and verifying the effective and efficient utilization of the funds in terms of equipment delivery, installation and efficient operation across the nation.

   On the other hand, the Bank explained that N350.0 million was earmarked for 35 High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) Millers for the upgrade of their mills comprising 50 per cent grant and 50 per cent loan. The sum of N195 million or 55.7 per cent in form of grant and funds for the reconfiguration of their factories have been disbursed to 20 beneficiaries who are grouped in batches of 10 each.

    The Bank stated that while equipment for the first batch of 10 beneficiaries have been installed, the delivery and installation of the second batch of equipment to another 10 beneficiaries is onñgoing and that with the pace of work, it is expected to be completed on or before February 20, 2015 all targeted at enabling the beneficiaries meet the desired HQCF volume.

   ìFurthermore, of the remaining of 15 beneficiaries, only eight have fulfilled the agreed conditions precedent for disbursement and as such, an additional N32.20 million being 50% of the approved amount of N64.400 million is being processed for this batch of beneficiaries.  The supplier only submitted the Performance Bond to facilitate disbursement on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015.

    ìRegarding the N425.0 million earmarked for working capital loan, about N100.0 million has been disbursed to those that have been supplied the basic items of equipment while the balance is being disbursed in tranches to the remaining beneficiaries as they complete the installation and test run of their equipment in line with the agreed milestonesî, the statement read in part.