By Ben Agande
ABUJA — The Federal Government has approved the grant of N15 billion to the Bank of Agriculture, BOA, to farmers at single digit interest rate for the 2013 farming season.
The Vice President, Namadi Sambo disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, during the closing ceremony of the 19th edition of the National Economic Summit, organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, in partnership with the National Planning Commission.
Similarly, Vice President Sambo said to make the BOA more efficient, the National Council on Privatisation has been granted approval for its unbundling, noting that government was mindful of the problems currently facing access to cheap financing by farmers.
His words: “Mr. President has approved the grant of N15 billion to the Agricultural Bank to be provided to our farmers for the 2013 farming season at one digit interest rate. Furthermore, the National Council on Privatisation has been granted approval by Mr. President to privatise the Bank of Agriculture in order to unbundle it and make available cheaper funds for agricultural development.”
The Vice President emphasised that this was in line with the administration’s drive to redefine agriculture as a business and make it more competitive, adding that Government was committed to diversifying the economy to create wealth and jobs.
He stated that the President Jonathan administration was addressing all other bottlenecks hampering the agric sector by unlocking all its potentials, through favourable policy instruments, women and youth empowerment initiatives, land security, revitalisation of the transport sector, improvement of power supply, access to markets and revival of commodity exchange systems.
“The face of agriculture has changed in this country, and it is refreshing. Agriculture is no longer a development programme. Agriculture is now a business”, Sambo said: