Wednesday, January 13, 2016 /News
The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today called for the need for Nigeria to take agriculture more seriously in order to diversify the country’s economy.
Speaking against the backdrop of the consideration of a Senate bill to amend Nigeria’s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Senate President stated that with the proper mechanisms in place, agriculture would soon take the driver’s seat in Nigeria’s economic development as it stands to create sustainable employment for young people.
“This scheme when actualized will ensure that our farmers have access to funds,” Saraki said, while also stressing that Nigeria would need to also forge a legislative framework to support the actualization of the bill.
“In order to meet long-term financial commitments to our farmers, we need to ensure that we protect the credit financiers and banks that are involved in credit disbursement,” the Senate President said, “Doing this will ensure that all stakeholders meet their financial obligations.”
The bill to amend the Agricultural Credit Scheme was sponsored by Senator Andy Uba (Anambra South). Also speaking on the bill Senator Ben Murray-Bruce stated that the bill to restructure Nigeria’s agricultural lending scheme was coming at a time when many young people do not see farming as an attractive profession. Senator Murray-Bruce called on his colleagues to support the bill, stating that such initiatives were necessary to make agriculture more appealing to young people.
Other vocal proponents of the bill at the Senate plenary included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who called for a harmonization of Central Bank of Nigeria Schemes with agricultural schemes; Senator Bala Ibn Na'allah, the Deputy Senate Leader, who mentioned that the bill would help address accessibility to loans for farmers; and, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo East), who said that the Senate should work to ensure that the funds gets to the farmers.