Monday, September 02, 2019 / 10.00AM / Ottoabasi
Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: @FirstBankngr
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono has called on Development and Commercial Banks to support the revival of Agro-Allied Industries across the nation.
Alhaji Sabo Nanono made the call as the Special Guest of Honour at the 3rd edition of the First Bank Agric Expo in Lagos.
The Minister believed that vibrant Agro-Allied industries would boost the Agric sector and agricultural value chain, which will enhance its global competitiveness.
He commended First Bank for its seriousness and commitment to the development of Agri-business in the country.
Speaking on the theme of the conference "Agricultural Value Chain: Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks" the Minister reiterated the need for a robust value chain in the Agric sector from the smallholder farmers to commercial lenders.
He assured stakeholders that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would build a strategic partnership with critical stakeholders to improve the sector over the next four years.
Alhaji Nanono lauded the Federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria for pushing the policy of restricting forex allocation for rice importation, citing Kano State as a major beneficiary with 17 new rice processing mills.
Agric transformation according to the Minister was critical because it had three components of the sustainable development goals, SDGs namely;
Considering the growing concerns of unemployment in the country, Nanono was of the view that the Agro-sector had the potential to create jobs and gainfully engage the youth in the country.
He believed that through Agro-Allied industries and a robust value chain, Nigeria can emerge as one of the largest producers of Agro commodities on the globe.
Giving the welcome address the MD/CEO of First Bank Nigeria, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said FBN has consistently supported the Agro sector over the last 125 years.
Dr. Adeduntan used the event to highlight some of the areas that First Bank has achieved significant interventions in Agribusiness, which include;
"At First Bank we appreciate the imperatives of the extensive Agric value chain; the position of the Agric sector as a major contributor to the nationâ€™s GDP, significance in generating forex earnings, employment and import substitution and its ability to eradicate hunger and poverty," He said.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr Babajide Sodipo, Senior Manager-Export Delivery, AFREXIM Bank on behalf of the President Professor Benedict Oramah.
The event featured an exhibition fair by Agro-based companies which was formally opened by the Agric Minister.
Activities also included a panel session, goodwill messages from Lagos and Ondo state governments and a goodwill message from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments.