Kebbi state governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has appealed to the federal government to increase its lending support for agriculture, noting that the N54b made available for the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) is not sufficient for the 31 states practicing rice agriculture, compared to what other sectors are receiving.
The governor stated this on Tuesday while responding to questions from journalists attached to the Minister of Information who visited the state on a two day inspection of the rice revolution in the state.
The Governor who appreciated FG and the CBN for the N54b made available for the programme, said that the money was little compared to what is being given to other sectors.
He also urged the financial institutions to be mindful of the challenges farmers face and treat them like it will treat other business owners. The Governor also urged the financial systems to work with the farmers as an ongoing concern in order for them to meet their obligations.
“If a farmer faces a repayment issue just like a company will face a repayment issue occasionally, what is important is to work with him or her so that he can continue, it is not unusual” he said.
“N54b is the total amount of money made available under the anchor borrowers programme. It is not little, we thank FG and the Central bank because this is the first time it has been done in our country, but it is even little money compared with what goes on in other sectors.
"For example when the Asset Management Company was created in 2010, it was created to take over bad loans from the commercial bank system N4trillion bad loans, that money was not allocated in one sector, it was oil and gas, shares certificate, land certificate, so that spending of N54b has resulted in the magic we have seen in terms of food production should be a bigger story than repayment challenges that should occasion any programme like this” he added.