CBN To Ease Access To Funds For SMEs

Godwin-Emefiele-Governor-of-Central-Bank-NigeriaThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to streamline logistics and mechanisms to ease access to funds for the development of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs).

The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who announced the plan on Tuesday, said that of the 220 billion Naira earmarked for the sector in 2014 only about 80 billion Naira had been accessed so far.

He gave the update during the fact finding mission of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodity and Production led by the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu.

Also at the meeting was the Governor of Ogun State, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, who asked for more funds for cooperative societies in the agricultural sector to grow the state’s economy.

Earlier, the task force was taken round some of the farms in the state, where the farmers laid bare their demands, with access to financing topping their list.

The coordinator of Eriwe Fish Farm Village, Professor Olanipekun Alausa, spoke on behalf of some fish farmers in the state before they moved from farm to farm in Ijebu Ode, Kotopo Greenhouse Farm in Abeokuta and Eweje Farm Settlement.

The task force members were conducted round the farms where the CBN governor assured the farmers of easy access to SMEs funds.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, also reeled out some of the plans of the Federal Government for the sector for cooperative societies in the state.

Findings by this task force is expected to form the fulcrum for the extended Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government for the state.

Buhari Seeks End To Importation Of Staple Foods

food sufficiencyPresident Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria must achieve rice sufficiency in the shortest time possible and stop importation of staple foods.

He is hopeful that reliance on farm produce from Nigeria would save the country billions of Naira spent annually on importation and achieve food sufficiency.

The President made the statement at the Bola Tinubu Colloquium held on Tuesday after projections by the Governor of Kebbi State, Mr Abubakar Bagudu, that Nigeria could achieve rice sufficiency in one year.

If sufficient funding would be provided to rice farmers in the 33 producing States and supported fully by state governments, rice sufficiency could be achieved, he stated.

President Buhari said Nigeria must become the bread basket of West Africa but would first tackle the injustice of hunger faced by millions of Nigerians especially in the rural areas.