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Entrepreneur advocates decentralization procedures for N1.487trn agriculture funds disbursement

By News Desk

An entrepreneur, Olanrewaju George, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adopt decentralisation procedures in utilising the N1.487 trillion recently earmarked for boosting Nigeria’s food security and aimed at sustaining gains being recorded across the nation’s agricultural sector.

The seasoned entrepreneur cum politician added that though the incentive had been approved to augment the gains being recorded in the sector, if not properly disbursed and utilised through effective monitoring, the fund would achieve little or nothing with its current arrangement.

Olanrewaju, who has business interest in Oil and gas, agriculture and importation, said that more needed to be done about the fund proposed for accessing from the apex bank by entrepreneurs in achieving its desired purpose.

The businessman, popularly known as OMG, suggested that the country should take a new direction away from status quo and let the fund be accessed from commercial banks that could effectively monitor its effective disbursement, utilisation, and recollection.

According to him, the country can not continue to do things the same way and expecting a different result.

“This fund had never and will never achieve the aim at which it is meant for. We have been doing the same thing for a very long time and expecting different results,” he argued.

In his suggestion, Olanrewaju said that the money should be disbursed to commercial banks at zero interest rate instead, for easy access by registered farmers in the nation.

“It is only a mad man that will continue to things the same way and expect a different result, and I know Nigerians are not mad. All we just need to do is give this money to commercial banks at zero interest rate to disburse to real farmers which have their KYC”.

He said that commercial banks already have their ways of recollecting their loans with a proper follow up on their clients.

“Commercial banks already have their ways of recollecting their loans and how to follow up on the client to ensure the money is spent truly on food security,” he said.

Furthermore, he added that the fund would also increase the running capital of commercial banks.

“Besides this will increase the running capital of our commercial banks, leading to more innovative and effective delivering of their services.”

It would be recalled that the nation’s apex bank recently disclosed that it has disbursed no fewer than N1.487 trillion under its various agricultural programmes to boost food security

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made this known while presenting the communiqué on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja last week.

According to him, the apex bank disbursed N107.60 billion to 548,109 farmers cultivating 703,619 hectares of land between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 to boost dry season output.

He said, “total disbursements as at end-February 2021 amounted to N1.487 trillion under the various agricultural programmes, of which N686.59 billion was disbursed under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).

“The bank also disbursed N601.75 billion under the Anchor Borrowers Programmes (ABP) to 3,038,649 farmers to support food supply and dampen inflationary pressures.

“Under the Targeted Credit Facility, the bank has disbursed N218.16 billion to 475,376 beneficiaries, of which 34 per cent of beneficiaries are SMEs.

“Under the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), N111.62 billion has been disbursed to 28,961 beneficiaries, 70 per cent of which are in the agricultural sector.’’

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