Enugu women farmers flay lack of access to agric loans
Disturbed by the poor patronage of its intervention programmes in Kano, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged the people to always access its agricultural and small business loans.
To make good its plans for the state farmers and small business owners, it organised a two-day sensitisation workshop tagged: “CBN Sensitisation Fair, 2017 Workshop.”
Specifically, the workshop targeted business communities, market women, artisans, marketers’ associations and youth associations with the aim of convincing them to patronise CBN’s intervention schemes meant to empower them.
CBN’s Acting Controller in Kano, Bilkisu Mahe Wali, said, “The way people respond to our intervention programmes in Kano is not encouraging. We, therefore, decided to run this awareness campaign about our facilities and how to access them.”
She lamented that the people of Kano missed out on the benefits of the facilities being offered by the CBN because they shunned the intervention programmes when they were introduced in the state, adding that the situation must be addressed.
Her words: “Lack of awareness, and knowledge about the relevance of the programmes and lack of seriousness on the part of past government’s in the state were some of the reasons why most people in Kano lost out.
Some of the intervention programmes are the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, MSME Development Fund, Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Agriculture Credit Support Scheme and SME Redistribution and Refinancing Facility, among others.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Finance, Professor Kabiru Isah Dandago, assured the CBN that the state government would always support the bank’s programmes aimed at developing the economy.
Meanwhile, women farmers in Enugu State under the aegis of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) yesterday raised the alarm over imminent poor harvest season following their inability to access agricultural loans and other support from government.
The women also called for the implementation of the 2004 Malabu declaration where 54 African countries agreed to set aside ten per cent of their annual budgets for agriculture.
They stated that several months after applying for loans through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme (ABS), no funds had been released, even when the farming season, especially rice cultivation was coming to an end.