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CBN distributes N820m inputs on 3,102 Ekiti farmers, Showers N791bn on 3m farmers

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CBN distributes N820m inputs on 3,102 Ekiti farmers, Showers N791bn on 3m farmers
CBN distributes N820m inputs on 3,102 Ekiti farmers, Showers N791bn on 3m farmers

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Bode Adetoyi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has distributed farm inputs worth over N820 million to rice farmers in Ekiti State under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Bode Adetoyi made this known on Friday at Aisegba town.

Adetoyi said a total of 3,102 rice farmers benefitted from the scheme, which is undertaken in collaboration with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria .

He described the development as a fulfilment of the promise of Governor Kayode Fayemi to boost food security and make the state a leader in rice production in the country.

Adetoyi explained that each of the benefitting farmers paid a counterpart fund of N21,000 and were allocated one hectare of land in a cluster.

He added that the farmers were also given inputs such as rice seed, pre and post-emergence chemicals, rice selective herbicides, organic and inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.

Adetoyi said others were knapsack sprayers and water pumping machines, all at a cost of N264, 400.

He advised farmers interested in participating in various government’s agricultural schemes to register with the State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Adetoyi said that the Fayemi – led administration had also raised hybrid cocoa and cashew seedlings for free distribution to farmers.

The State Coordinator of the project , Mr Lanre Sholaja, in his speech, said that already, there were off-takers for the farm produce after harvest.

Sholaja explained that the cost of inputs would be deducted from the valued sums while the balance would be paid to respective farmers as their profits after harvest.

He noted that the scheme had reawakened the consciousness of Ekiti farmers in the production of rice in commercial quantity.

Also read: Ogun moves to boost income of cocoa farmers

Sholaja advised the benefiting farmers to make judicious use of the items given to them in order to achieve the desired goal.

The President of the agriculture arm of Aanuoluwapo Cooperative Multipurpose Union, Aisegba – Ekiti, Mr Sunday Olajolumo was also at the occasion.

Olajolumo commended the governor for his efforts at improving the lot of farmers and boosting food production in the state.

He pledged that the benefiting farmers would judiciously utilize the farm inputs.

In a related development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it has disbursed  N791 billion to over three million farmers across the 36 states,  under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The Director, Development Finance Department of the bank, Mr Yusuf Yila, made this known on Friday in Abuja, during an interaction with newsmen.

Yila said  the apex bank had reduced interest rate on the loan  from nine per cent to five per cent,  to encourage more farmers to have access to the credit.

The ABP was launched on Nov. 17, 2015 and designed to provide farm inputs and cash to Small Holder Farmers (SHFs).

The programme was intended to create a linkage between Anchor Companies involved in food processing and SHFs of the required key agricultural commodities,  through commodity associations.

He said  the programme had helped participating  farmers  to improve their yields,  especially maize from initial two metric tons per hectare,  to five metric tons per hectare,  while that of rice to four metric tons  per hectare.

Yela said  the bank was also investing in reducing post-harvest loses of farm produce,  by encouraging dry season farming, describing it as “better in reducing such losses.

“Agriculture works better in the dry season, because you cannot control water during the rainy season, but you can control it during the dry season by using irrigation.

“The bank is also building silos and irrigation dams to reduce losses,’’ he said.

Yila said the apex bank had also disbursed about N312 billion,  in energy infrastructure support through National Mass Metering Programme.

He explained that the programme was initiated to bridge the six million metering gap in the country, adding that 670 thousand meters had been distributed across the country.

“We are also ensuring value addition in the scheme,  by ensuring  the meters are not fully imported but assembled  in Nigeria.

“By that,  we are creating thousands of jobs and also supporting economic diversification,’’ the director said.

 

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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