By Henry Umoru
ABUJA-THE Federal government yesterday expressed its frustration that despite the availability of the much awaited textile revival fund, stakeholders in the sector were yet to access the fund to boost the industry.
According to him, out of the N100 billion the government promised to rescue the sector following the disappearance of the hitherto vibrant industry, N60 billion has been made available and ready which could be accessed through the Bank of Industry.
Addressing Journalists yesterday on the High-level Conference on Agri-Business and Agro-Industries in Africa(HLCD-3A), Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Humphrey Enemakwu Abah who noted that there were no administrative barriers how stakeholders could get the loan, said the loan was available to get to the grassroot if there was enough awareness and advocacy, just as he disclosed that the government was set to make available pool of funds to enable farmers increase food production.
According to him, African Development Bank(ADB), Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and other stakeholders will be involved in this move of providing a pool of fund for farmers, even as he said that with this, they will then be encouraged to farm bearing in mind that the farmers could have the facilities to store their products.
The conference which will take place at the Transorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja will take place from 8th-10 March, 2010.
The minister who noted that the three day conference was jointly organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO), FAO, IFAD in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the African Union(AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA) and the Federal government of Nigeria, said it is aimed at boosting the development of Agri-Business and Agro-Industries in Africa, as a pathway to increasing economic growth and food security on the continent.
â€œAt the end of the conference, a programme framework to support Agri-business and Agro-industrial development in the continent, the African Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative (3ADI) would be developed. The framework will identify concrete steps to increase technical know-how, improve value-adding technologies, foster market access and strengthen public and private sector partnershipsâ€, he said.