•Urges increased rice production in state
TO fulfil industrial potential and achieve sustainable growth in the country, the acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Waheed Olagunju, has emphasised the need to maximise the country’s commodities by adding value to natural resources and capitalising on its population.
Olagunju, at a media parley themed “Sustaining Nigeria’s Industrial Sector Growth through Impactful Partnerships,” over the weekend in Lagos, regretted that ignorance about the potentials of raw materials among Nigerians was a major setback.
According to him, “there is need to add value to our resources as 774 local governments have raw materials where we have comparative advantage.”
To this effect, the Executive Director, Corporate services, Jonathan Tobin, in his presentation entitled “De -risking agric financing: a case study of NIRSAL”, urged rice producing states rice producing states to boost rice production.
According to him, the ABP, which domesticated rice production in Kebbi State with 78000 farmers on the scheme, was now full blown.
He, however, regretted that out of the 14 state governors of rice producing states for consultations invited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), before the take off on the ABP, only Kebbi State showed interest.
According to him, if the governors participate, the local demand would be met and cost of purchasing rice would decrease significantly.
The bank plans to expand the scheme to other 14 states starting from Ebonyi, Cross River, Anambra and northern states among others, he added.
Additionally, the scheme is also encouraging local production in rice, wheat, fish, and livestock
In her own paper, the Executive Director, financial inclusion, Mrs Toyin Adeniji, explained that the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) would ensure that people at the lower pyramid have access to loans directly without any need for intermediaries.
According to her, it is a targeted financial inclusion and empowerment programme to deliver maximum impact and scale to the economically underrepresented groups in the country.
“The programme focuses on provision of micro credit to MSMEs and would include targeted market women and traders, artisans enterprising clusters and youths, farmers and agric workers.”