Anambra Gets N4bn Agric Bank Loan, As Obi Battles Minister Over 31-Year Old Rice Farm


Peter Obi

The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has targeted about 22,000 beneficiaries from its four billion naira (N4bn) loan meant to expand and boost its support base to the agriculture sector in Anambra state.

According to the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr Mohammed Santuraki, N2billion of the funds had earlier been disbursed to about 8,000 beneficiaries including the Nnewi-based Resources Improvement Company(RIMCO), a subsidiary of the Chicason Group.

Dr Santuraki who led a team of the bank’s top management, including the Executive Director(Corporate Services), Mr Sam Elibe and the Head of Corporate Planning, Mr Babatunde Igun, on a courtesy call on Gov Peter Obi yesterday at the Government Lodge, Awka, promised to inject additional N2bn in collaboration with the state government with a view to adding more real growth to the sector in the state.

The managing director noted that the state has more than 500, 000 arable land and that the additional funds would boost the value-chain, specific target crops and expansion of the cultivated land with additional 14,000 hectares.

He disclosed that the bank was already collaborating with Ondo, Osun, Cross River and Sokoto amongst others, hence would be very happy to synergize with Anambra also. That they were equally discussing with other states like Kwara, Kogi, Benue and Lagos.

Gov Obi expressed readiness to collaborate with them so as to boost employment generation and enhance growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state. He pointed out that the state has been committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals as enunciated by the United Nations.

He lamented that that the gigantic Anambra/Imo River Basin Development authority has merely occupied a large expanse of idle farm land in the state. That the farm was conceived and established as the largest rice farm in the country, but has been allowed to rot away, having been abandoned less than six months after take-off.

He disclosed that he has already taken up the issue with the Agric Minister with a view to reclaim it for better use by the state.




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