11 March 2016

Nigeria: Abia Seeks N1 Billion Agric Loan From CBN

Abia state government has taken steps to secure a N1 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost agricultural production.

State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Bonnie Iwuoha, made this known on Friday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the weekly meeting of the state executive council.

He said the loan would be strictly applied for the development of agriculture.

"It is going to be purely for genuine farmers; it is not going to be used for political patronage. It is not going to be used to settle kiths and kin of political office holders," he said.

Iwuoha said that the need to secure the agricultural loan has become necessary because of the new thinking by the present government to engender agriculture revolution in the state, adding that the ministry of agriculture has been directed to come up with a blue print for the programme.

He explained that the plan to revolutionalize agriculture in Abia state was to ensure food security for all citizens, engender youth employment in the agriculture sector and the attendant economic empowerment.

The information commissioner assured that two moribund industries - Golden Guinea Breweries, Umuahia and International Glass Industry, Aba - were set to bounce back to life.

Meanwhile Abia state government has entered into a tripartite agreement with the CBN and the international Centre for Development Affairs (ICDA) for the establishment of Entrepreneurial Development Centre (EDC) for the South East zone with Abia as the host of the programme.

Commissioner for finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku told journalists in Umuahia that the agreement was signed on March 1, 2015 at the CBN headquarters Abuja, adding that he signed for Abia government while Dr M.I Olaitan signed on behalf of CBN governor and Dr Osita Aniemeka represented the ICDA.

He said that the South East has been lagging behind in the implementation of the programme initiated in 2008 by the former CBN governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo hence arrangements have been conclude for the flag off slated for Mach 24, 2015.

Oriaku said that the programme, targeted at young school leavers, graduates and even retirees, would not only impart skills to the participants but also make them imbibe entrepreneurial acumen during the three months duration of the training.


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