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FCMB Doles Out N14bn For Agric Business

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The sustainable banking
initiative in the financial sector has received a boost from First City Momument Bank (FCMB) Limited with a $70 million (N14 billion) facility created for the agriculture sector in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The package, according to a  report obtained by our correspondent in Port Harcourt, recently is made up of a long term loan of $50 million and a convertible loan of $20 million, targeted at supporting the bank’s growth strategy and helping it increase financing of small and medium enterprises in the sector.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive FCMB, Mr Ladi Balogum, has viewed IFC’s investment as a stamp-of-approval on the bank’s strategy and commitment to good corporate governance and risk management.
“This partnership with IFC would help FCMB achieve its strategic growth objectives”, he said.
FCMB’s Divisional Head, Agricultureal Business Financing, Gumunyu while elaborating the bank’s interest in agriculture financing said since agriculture has the potential to stimulate economic growth it follows that agricultural financing becomes an important instrument of economic policy.
Gamunyu said FCMB intends to partner with players in the agric space with a view to taking advantage of the many opportunities.
He said the process presents and contributes positively towards economic growth, employment creation, import substitution and economic sustainability.
With regard to the fears by farmers that the turn-around time and conditions attached to some credit facilities could be prohibitive, he allayed their fears.
“Farmers have a point in complaining about slow approval processes as their businesses are season bound and need reasonable time to access finance” he said.
However, farmers have to realise that they also can help by providing the requisite information and that not all credit can be approved as the bank has to be satisfied with the risk and return of transactions.

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Agriculture

Ex-Adamawa Gov Commissions Solar-Powered Dairy Factory 

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Sebore International Farms, an agricultural enterprise established by former Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, has commissioned a new dairy factory.
The factory, which turns out different varieties of Admiral’A Youghurt from milk sourced mainly from independent cattle breeders, is said to be the largest in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event in Mayo-Belwa, an agrarian community south of the state capital, Yola, Nyako thanked God for sparing his life to behold the dairy factory 40 years after he established the parent Sebore Farms.
“I indeed feel grateful that at the sunset of my life, I have seen the sunrise of another generation that will take Sebore to greater heights. I thank my son Aminu Nyako for his vision regarding the development of Sebore Export Processing Zone with his diary project,” Nyako said.
While Nyako established the Sebore Farms in 1982 in his home town, Mayo-Belwa, the Admiral’A Youghurt Factory, located within the 15,000 hectare farm complex and commissioned towards the weekend, is the brainchild of one of his sons, Aminu.
Aminu, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Sebore International Farms, said the birth of the diary firm marked the beginning of a dream to contribute meaningfully to a desire of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to end importation of diary products.
He said the yoghurt producing initiative marks a fresh turning point in the life of Sebore Farms which once exported Admiral’A mangos to Europe and the Middle East.

Giving the history of the newly commissioned dairy factory, Aminu said: “Three years ago, we did a survey and found 2.1 million cattle are resident in Adamwa. That is massive potential. To harness this great potential, two things had to be in place: Power and Processing.

“To address this gap, the Central Bank through our bank, Providus Bank allowed us to access facilities that has birthed what you see today.”

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele confirmed that in a move against importation of dairy products, the apex bank supported the project.

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Agriculture

Farmer Accuses Police Of Invasion, Alleges N5.5m Theft

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A 45-year-old farmer, Mutiu Adeeyo, from Iso-Isu, Osun State, has accused the police in the state of unlawful invasion and destruction of his property.
Adeeyo, also alleged that a sum of N5.5million went missing from his wardrobe after the attack on July 19.
While narrating the incident to our The Tide’s source, the farmer said the policemen stormed his home around 11pm.
“My wife, children, and my brother’s wives and children were all sleeping that night when we heard people kicking the gate. I was traumatised because I knew the security situation of the country.
“They scaled the fence when we did not open the gate. They went to the main and back doors and started shouting that we should open the doors.
“When we did not answer, they broke the doors open and asked where I was. The women said I was not at home. They started breaking every door to look for me.
They didn’t stop despite the women protesting that they were not covered. When they noticed the room I was, they broke in and arrested me at gunpoint. I was handcuffed and taken into their van”, he narrated.
The farmer said he had a land dispute with some of the people who accompanied the policemen.
“But we had settled it and followed what the law says. When they were bringing me out, some men went into my wardrobe and took a polythene bag containing N5.5million,” he added.
Adeeyo, said he was taken to the Pere Police Station, Ede, and detained till the following day.
He said he was later taken to court, where he was accused of destroying the fence of a building on the disputed land at Kajola.
He said the court, discovering that there was a similar case which the Zone 11 Police Command had filed on his behalf, adjourned the matter and allowed him to leave.
“If the police called to see me, I would have answered them because I didn’t commit any crime,” he stated.
His wife, Shakirah Adeeyo, also confirmed the incident to our correspondent.
A member of the legal team representing the farmer, Azeez Zakariyau, told The Tide’s source that it was the second time the police would detain Adeeyo.
“When the police went to his house the first time, enquiries were ongoing when we filed a petition at the Zone 11 police headquarters at Osogbo.
“They investigated and discovered that he was not at fault. Then the Zone 11 Police Command charged some suspected land grabbers to court for malicious damage.
“Then, they went to arrest him again on July 19. Our team has filed a petition against the entry and disappearance of the money,” he added.
The petition, dated July 29, was signed by one Alfred Adegoke, and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.

Adegoke alleged that the police team stole N5.5m from the farmer and demanded an investigation into the incident.

A police source, however, denied that any money was taken by the team, adding that Mutiu was arrested for malicious damage.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Yemisi Opalola, said she was not aware of the matter.

She promised to get back to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
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Agriculture

SMEs Can Tap Export Opportunities – Expert

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An expert, Kola Awe, has advised small- and medium-scale enterprises to leverage Nigeria’s economic opportunities by exporting their products.
Speaking at a one-day seminar, midweek, held in Abeokuta, organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in conjunction with the Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and  Agriculture, Awe noted that SME operators were at advantage.
In his keynote speech, Awe, who’s the Managing Director/CEO of XPT Logistics International Limited, noted that there were various platforms through which small businesses could penetrate international markets.
The former chairman of NACCIMA Export Group added that if Nigeria diversified  her economy, it would favour small businesses in export.
“Basically, the trade fair is one of the platforms that SMEs can use to showcase their goods, and it is very instrumental to the development as marketing strategy for SMEs because of the attractions and the varieties of products that come with trade fairs”, he said.

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