Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Fed Govt shops for N500b to recapitalise BoA

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said the Federal Government plans to source for about N500 billion to restructure and recapitalise the Bank of Agriculture (BaA).

Osinbajo who spoke during the inauguration of a 21-member National Council on Privatisation Steering Committee on BoA restructuring and recapitalisation at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, yesterday in Abuja, also inaugurated a nine-member Project Delivery Committee to support the steering team.

The committee members are expected among others to develop innovative ideas that will help revive and strengthen operations of the BoA.

Represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the vice president said the exercise would support small and medium scale enterprise (SMEs), farmers, cooperatives, agro-allied industries and enable them to meet huge demand for agricultural produce for local production and exports.

He said: “We are looking at another two or four weeks’ time frame, because we don’t have time; we need to move with speed. Like I said, but for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ programme, what we have achieved so far would have been near impossible because support for agric has been very difficult from the commercial banks. And we understand some of their problems, but the CBN has been excellent but that is not usually their prime mandate, they only came in to help.

“So we hand over the restructuring responsibility to the CBN to make it much stronger, better run, better financed at an interest rate that would be easy to accommodate farmers either small or big.

“If we have about a trillion naira, we wouldn’t mind; we are targeting a very high figure, we also have to recover some of the credit that are outstanding and some of the farmers owning have offer to pay because they are making more money now. We could start with N500 billion.”

He said the exercise is expected to integrate with the evolving commodity exchange programme, which according to him is currently undergoing the process of revamp.

“This approach was preferred by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a pre-privatisation strategy to pave way for the injection of financial and other requisite resources; pursuant to future privatisation, as approved by in 2013 by the NCP,” Osinbajo added.

Prof Osinbajo acknowledged various challenges of the bank including inadequate workforce, bad debts, poor funding among others. He stressed that the restructuring and recapitalisation remained critical to the bank’s survival.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greater effort should be directed at loan recovery.

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