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Delta Farmers Petition Buhari Over CBN/NIRSAL Programme 

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Farmers under a registered Co-operative Society, Good Choice Farmers in Degele-Elume in Sapele Local Government of Delta State has appealed to the Federal Government to direct the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and relevant stakeholders to intervene so that they can commence the rice wet season farming.

The farmers said that the refusal of CBN to release funds to them is making a mockery of the good intentions of the present administration in the agricultural sector.
In a petition addressed to the nation’s President, the group also narrated their ordeals at the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN)/Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) office in Asaba after forwarding their expression of interest.
The letter titled ‘Our ordeal in the hands of CBN/NIRSAL since 2019:Appeal for urgent intervention’ signed by Mr Sunday Agbude, President of NIRSAL GEO COOP, Delta, Sapele, Deghele MPCS and Secretary of the group, Pastor Mark Olom Abene said they got approval from the Delta State government and paid for one hundred and seventy (170) hectares of land in the Delta State communal farm in Deghele, Sapele in April 2019, for rice production.
They said, after spending cash on engaging licenced surveyor, registering a new co-operative, resubmitting all documents and CBN/NIRSAL officials coming to the communal farm in Deghele, Sapele for membership verification exercise, and even paying one hundred and fifty (150,000)naira into the Delta State farm lease, which are part of the conditions for the program to kick off, they are yet to get feedback.
Part of the petition read: In January 2021 CBN/NIRSAL directed that we should resubmit all documents for the 2021 rice wet season project and we complied.
On the 15th of March, 2021, Mr Chukwudi, the head of NIRSAL, Delta State, informed us that CBN had not opened the window for the rice wet season project for 2021 which means that there was no assurance that the anchor borrowers programme (ABP) that had been on in other states of the federation may never take place in Delta State.
Nigerians and indeed Deltans welcome and love the Anchor Borrowers Programme and are keying into it in line with President Buhari’s Agricultural revolution initiative to rescue millions of Nigeriañs particularly the unemployed out of poverty.

“The challenge confronting us is that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refused to effect the timely release of funds for the smooth take-off of the programme in Delta State, thereby making a mockery of the good intentions of the Buhari’s administration in the agricultural sector.

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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