Edo farmers get N2bn CBN loan, endorse Obaseki

Edo farmers get N2bn CBN loan, endorse Obaseki

Olaoye Ademola

 

Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole

Farmers in Edo State are beneficiaries of a N2 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, guaranteed by the state government in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, one of the CBN’s policy initiatives to pursue the creation of jobs, reduction in food imports and diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

The state farmers who also got a N1 billion grant in 2011 from the state government to buy farm implements and grow their farms endorsed Godwin Obaseki to succeed the Comrade Governor.

Speaking during the flag-off of the programme in Benin City, Tuesday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the private sector involvement is needed to create employment and wealth for people especially those in the rural areas.

He added that no matter how hard any governor tries, government alone will not be able to create all the needed jobs in the state and the country.

“The primary purpose of government is not the recruitment of civil servants, indeed, the civil service which is manned by civil servants is there in order to work and create the environment to support the citizens to do their own businesses and run their lives. The most attractive and perhaps the only job in town is working for the government. That has to change, and to change it, we must revisit the economy and put our people back to work, rebuild the rural economy and transfer prosperity to our farmers. That is the way to go, and that is what this project is about” he said

 

Oshiomhole added that “The challenge of fighting rural poverty goes beyond building roads. Those roads are a means to an end, they are not an end in themselves. That end is, having opened up various communities, how do we take advantage of the rural infrastructure to empower modern farmers, big and small, using modern methods to produce and have guaranteed buyers of the produce?

“So, the promise of this project which the Central Bank is going to provide the funding, guaranteed by Edo State Government with the aid of the Bank of Industry and one other commercial bank is to go back to the basics, have the benefit of a modern approach to farming in a way that will give you greater yields and a ready buyer of that yield who takes the product to process so that we don’t export the way we did it before without adding value. That way, prosperity will return to the rural community. I need you to take this exercise very seriously. We are in trouble if many of our people are idle.”

The Governor continued, “We want Edo rice to return to Government House. So, this whole approach is to recognise that we cannot continue to depend on consuming India rice and India bread. We also realize that many of you have business initiative but you don’t have the money to start small scale farms because you are not going to buy cutlasses and hoes anymore; you need small implements and that requires strong capital, and that is where the bank comes in to provide that loan, that facility that you will get, go back to your various places and start doing something. But I need you to know that each and every one of you who is serious, with the funding from the bank and the assistance provided by the people who have the skill to guide you through with modern implements and linking you with the nearest large scale farmers, things will change and they will change on a sustained basis, and wealth will return to rural communities and then Nigeria will be safe.

The Governor assured the farmers that they would collect the cheques before the expiration of his tenure.“this is not a project for next year. Before the end of my tenure, I want to distribute those cheques.”

Chairman of the Association, Chief Emmanuel Odigie, commended Governor Oshiomhole for the support to farmers in the state and also pledged the support of his members for the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki. He said undeniable proof that your government has given enough recognition to farmers in Edo State with a view to making the diversification of our economy a reality.

Thanking the government for the 2011 N1billion and the new N2billion, he said, “Although we are non-partisan, but we cannot thank you enough for the massive development in Edo State, particularly in education, health, road construction, erosion control and rehabilitation.

“To this end, AFAN promise to support you in all ramifications to vote massively for our choice candidate Mr Godwin Obaseki come 28th September 2016 to guarantee the sustainable development of Edo State. We hereby officially endorse our choice candidate Mr Godwin Obaseki.”

The APC governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki promised to support farmers when he emerges governor in the state. He promised to ensure free Certificate of Occupancy for the farmers to enable them have access to their land, and to bring down the cost of cultivation or them to make profit.

 

Obaseki said the Anchors Borrowers Programme will ignite the agriculture revolution in the country because it is based on the practical topic of demand and supply. “That is where we hope and pray that the bulk of the jobs we require and which we are going to create in Edo State will come from.”

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