Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has said investments in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme were already paying off, with the attendant mutiplier effects on the economy and Nigeria’s food security .
Bagudu spoke on Tuesday, at Zauro, Kebbi State, at the Commemoration of the Rice Anchor Borrowers’ Programme , National Rice Festival and the Flag off of the 2020/2021 Dry Season Rice Cultivation .
He sad :” RIFAN is today displaying these successes and gains of the last five years by showing this massive array of rice pyramids
” This is a great testament to the happy journey so far in spite of the devastating effects of the global Coronavirus ( COVID-19), pandemic on the economy, flood disasters and other issues .
” Our hard working populace have been supported by good economic policies by President Muhammadu Buhari,economic Institutions like the CBN,other agencies and other commercial banks .
” Nigerians have been resiliently at work, hence, we are celebrating these achievements recorded in the last five years
” The last five years have given us great hopes that agriculture will continue to produce the desired results.”
Bagudu expressed delight that , President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously been supporting the states , as well as the CBN that agricultural financing was no longer a problem to small scale producers in Nigeria.
The Kebbi State Governor also noted that,CBN,under its indefatigable Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has taken the risk showed commitment and pumped more money to small scale farmers, a situation that was never seen in Nigeria.
According to Bagudu, that was a great feat achievements under President Muhammadu Buhari, saying,” with the right support and policies, Nigerian farmers can favourably compete with their colleagues from across the world .
He acknowledged the suport of all the stakeholders and noted that, Nigerian farmers were now producing more healthier and hygienic rice.
Bagudu disclosed that, there was no any blockade on the transportation of food stuffs to the southern parts of the country as being insinuated by some disgruntled social media pundits.
Also speaking, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, commended Buhari and Bagudu,for their uncommon support in the last five years of the ABP existence .
According to him 2.9 million farmers have cultivated 3.6 million hectares across 21 commodities under the bank’s anchor borrowers’ programme (ABP).
Emefiele said the bank under its 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 States.
“The North-West zone with 85,261 farmers that cultivated 120,218 hectares represented 38.5% in total number of farmers and 54.3% in total number of hectares financed,” he said.
Emefiele also said that, the event gave the happy moment to celebrate the gains of the programme, saying, ” Kebbi has been an integral part of the ABP.”
Emefiele said the massive pyramids being launched in Kebbi was a confirmation of the positive outlook of the programme.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi,also said: ” We are here to show solidarity to with the Magician, our brother, the Governor of Kebbi State.”
Fayemi also stated that, ABP has increased the capacity of Nigerians to ,” produce what they eat and eat what they produce,in line with the directive of Buhari.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar,also extolled the achievements of the programme, sequel to the unwavering commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari,Bagudu, Emefiele and other stakeholders.
The sultan further stressed the need for leaders in the country to be just and accountable, saying, ” lack of food is lack of everything and without food , you can’t do anything, even worship.”
The Beninoise Foreign Minister, who led a high powered delegation of four other Ministers, Beninoise Ambassador to Nigeria and a Senator, said that, Nigeira and Benin Republics were one and the same .
” Anything that destroys Nigeria, destroys Benin Republic . Our President has also promised to ban any product that is banned by Nigeria,” he added .
On his part, Aminu Goronyo, RIFAN president, expressed gratitude to Buhari for his vision that Nigeria must feed herself by producing what she eats and eating what she produces.
The event featured the display of pyramids, which were rice harvests brought in by farmers in the state.
The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities.