The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) requires N1.6 trillion to meet the needs of small-scale farmers in the country, the Managing Director, Dr Mohammed Santuraki, has said.
Santuraki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the inability of the bank to secure the outstanding balance of the recapitalisation fund amounting to N30 billion was responsible for its inability to meet its mandate.
He expressed concern that if the balance was not provided by the CBN, the ongoing reforms and restructuring aimed at to repositioning the bank may not be implemented. The bank, formally known as the Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), was established in 2000.
This followed the merger of the defunct Peoples Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Agriculture Cooperative Bank (NACB). The managing director explained that during the merger talks, it was proposed that the new bank should be recapitalised to the tune of N50 billion.
Eleven years after the merger, the bank had only secured N20 billion, he said. On the challenges confronting the bank, Santuraki said it experienced undue interference in the past. He further said that some applicants who had collected huge loans were not genuine farmers. He, however, said that the new management team had put in place a mechanism to recover the loans and to ensure that only genuine farmers accessed credit from the bank.