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Don harps on maximising rural resources for food, growth

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia 
02 November 2021   |   2:02 am
Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, Dr Remy Mejeha, has alerted the nation to consequences of not mobilising the nation’s rural resources for greater economic growth.

Michael Okpara University

Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, Dr Remy Mejeha, has alerted the nation to consequences of not mobilising the nation’s rural resources for greater economic growth.

He spoke while delivering the university’s 50th inaugural lecture entitled, “Financial Intermediation in Agriculture: Hidden Treasure Mobilised for Wealth Creation.”

The academic said the hidden treasures were in the forms of hoarded cash and stored valuable possessions that were needed to create wealth for the nation.

He said if the hidden treasures were not accordingly mobilised, they would either be lost or unproductive. He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to formulate appropriate policies to increase the number of financial institutions in rural communities to free the resources that could help in wealth creation.

 
“Keeping huge resources unproductive in a country where resources are very scarce constitutes a bottleneck to wealth creation,” he argued.

Mejeha disclosed that his extensive researches on problems facing agricultural development in Nigeria revealed that the instruments that could have been used “to liberate” hoarded funds had largely been ineffective, such as cooperative societies, despite their wide geographical spread in the rural communities.

He also said banks and related institutions had equally failed in mobilising the hoarded resources because they “have not been able to extend financial services (savings mobilisation and extension of credits) to a larger segment of the farming population,” thus seemingly not addressing the option of hoarding cash.

“Hoarded cash is not available for investment, which gives rise to wealth creation,” he said, adding that in spite of the availability of relevant policies, financial intermediation services were not properly regulated to play their roles in ending cash hoarding.

Describing the inaugural lecture topic as apt, the Vice Chancellor of MOUAU, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, said that it came at the time the value of the naira was depreciating recklessly and corroborating that cash hoarding was one of the major problems of the economy. 

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