The Bank of Agriculture (BOA), formerly the Nigerian Agriculture Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), has provided six million jobs and disbursed N46 billion since its inception in 2000.
The Managing Director, Dr Mohammed Santuraki, made this disclosure to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
He said that although the bank encountered many constraints, “we still disburse an average of N5 hundred million quarterly and the disbursement will be a continuous exercise.”
He said that the bank was going to increase its lending by N10billion before the end of the year, with special focus on small-scale farmers.
He said, however, that “with all the new things coming up in agriculture development, we need to scale that up and we are planning to spend N10 billion this year on mainly small holder farmers.
“This is because we think they are the most productive sub-sector of the agricultural value chain.
He added that the bank had introduced a new scheme tagged “Credit, which includes credit and extension services to all the loan beneficiaries” to assist small scale farmers.
“Commercial agriculture farmers are also important and they havevarious schemes supporting them.
“We are giving loans at subsidised rate of eight per cent for the small holder farmers but the challenge is that there is subsidy in the loan we give and the government does not compensate us systematically”.
He said “the breakeven point for the agricultural lending in Nigeria was 14 per cent “and if you lend below that, you are losing money.
“For us as a development finance institution, we see it as part of our contribution to the society, but government needs to find a way of compensating us for the service”.
Santuraki said that the bank was formed in 2000 by the merger of Peoples Bank of Nigeria and the risk assets of Family Economic Advancement Programme and the NACB.
According to him, the proposal then was to recapitalise the bank to the tune of N50 billion.
Unfortunately, 10 years later, the bank only received N20 billion over a period of eight years in about six installments which had adverse effect on the lending system of the bank.
He said the development made it not sufficiently capitalised to do its normal mandate.
The Managing Director said the management of the bank had commenced restructuring of the bank, starting with changing of its name from the NACRDB to the Bank of Agriculture.
This is, “aimed at reshaping the feelings of the people toward the bank.
“We will soon commence rebranding and embark on comprehensive market re-entry strategy for the bank to compete favourably with its counterparts in the commercial sector,” he said.
He disclosed that the bank’s operational model would have rural mobilisation component so that it could drive both the rural savings and agricultural development.
He announced that the bank now has experts on seeds and inputs that would advise farmers on how to maximise yields, which was a big challenge in the farming sub-sector.
The bank is, therefore, doing all things possible to maintain its reach and improve access to the farmers through Micro Finance Banks (MFBs).
“We are also interested in mobile banking and improved information technology to cut down the cost of credit delivery and the only way to do this is being able to scale up the technology platform,” he said.
Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja.
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years.
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage – NEITI
Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.
Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives.
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area.
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.
By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
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