The Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization, (UNIDO), Dr. Kandeh Yunkella has commended the Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the Bankâ€™s contribution towards the development of agriculture and agro_allied business in Nigeria.
Dr. Yumkella made this at the pre_conference dinner preparatory to the CBN/UNIDO conference on the development ofÂ agricbusiness and Agro Industries initiative in Abuja from March 8 _ 10, 2010.Â Dr. Yumkella stated that the CBN has been a key driver of development financing programmes aimed at food security and economic development, not only in Nigeria but Africa as a whole.Â By motivating the Banking sector to provide funding for Agribusiness, the UNIDO Chief noted that the CBNâ€™s initiative would go a long way in ensuring the development of the agricultural sector.
The UNIDO Chief also commended the CBN Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for making the Conference possible within a very short period.Â He stated that â€œlast November, the CBN Governor was with us at UNIDO, although the debate was not in connection with agriculture but about Green Industry initiative, we are grateful that the conference was made possible just two and half months later with his dynamic leadershipâ€.
In the same vein, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Humphrey Abbah noted that the apex Bank has been in the vanguard for the financing of agricultural sub_sector of the economy through development financing.Â He also commended the role of the Bank towards ensuring food security and advised that the tempo should be sustained in order to develop the agro_allied industry in Africa.
It can be recalled that the Bank had initiated the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGSF) to assist farmers and others in the agric business to access credit at favourable interest rate by guarantying interest loan as part of the Bankâ€™sÂ developmental role.Â Â The ACGSF fund has so far disbursed N42 billion to 656,000 beneficiaries since inception 31 years ago.Â The Fund has since been increased to N5 billion.