President Mohammadu Buhari has given a directive to raise funds to support agriculture and industry at single digit interest rate.The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, at the NACCIMA/NIRSAL agribusiness conference held yesterday in Abuja said the president stated this at the federal executive council meeting.
He disclosed that the committee, headed by the Vice President, would ensure they keeping the interest rate at 10 per cent. Stressing the need to restructure agricultural credit, he said: “At the council of Ministers meeting, the President gave a directive to raise fund to support agriculture and industry at one digit interest rate.
“If we don’t keep the interest rate as minimum as it should, there is trouble ahead. Manufacturing is not so easy, other countries support agriculture, in every farm in Europe government support it with six euros per day.”
He lamented the inaccessibility of finance for agriculture, noting that farmers cannot borrow at 25 per cent interest rate as there is no production business that one can engage in with such interest rate. He said because the country is operating a federalism system of Government has made it impossible for the Federal Government to interfere in the affairs of States
He lamented that despite increased focus on agriculture, there are States that do not have a single working tractor for farmers. He urged the private sector to put pressure on the governors and local government chairmen to do the right thing.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday restated the determination of the administration to empower Nigerians if those in Government resist the temptation to corner the Nation’s resources to satisfy personal greed.
Speaking in Osogbo, where he flagged off Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Osinbajo said the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) came to power because ordinary people on the streets gave it overwhelming support in order to give the nation a lease of life.
He said, “When I arrived here I have seen for myself some products that should be supported by our administration. Our Government will continue to work very hard to support them by making available resources to boost their businesses.’’
Governor Rauf Aregbsola said for serious-minded people ready to do business, his administration and government at the centre would do everything possible to enhance ease of doing business in order to boost the economic capacity of the society.
His words, ‘‘for those ready to do business, there are abundant opportunities to create wealth and urged citizens of the state to key into GEEP to improve their businesses. ‘’