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FG disburses over N120 billion to 800,000 farmers

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President Buhari with R-L: Speaker House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Budget & National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, at the formal Launch of the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) at the State House | 5th April 2017

The Nigerian government said it has disbursed over N120 billion to about 800,000 farmers in the country since the commencement of Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

Minister of Economic planning and budget, Udoma Udo Udoma, made the disclosure at the 42nd Annual Conference of Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

ABP was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2015 to reduce food importation bill and improve local food production.

He said the funds were meant for the cultivation of rice, wheat, cotton, soya beans, cassava, and groundnuts for local consumption.

“To date, 11 Fertilizer Blending Plants with the capacity to produce 2.1 million metric tonnes have been revitalized,” Udoma said.

He said the government has also been working consistently to deliver diversification of the economy through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“There is no doubt that we are making good progress in our efforts to revive and diversify the economy. However, is the economy sufficiently diversified? My answer is not yet,” he added.

“Whilst the oil and gas sector constitutes less than 10% of our GDP, it still represents too large a percentage of our foreign exchange earnings.

“We need to grow our non-oil exports to overtake oil in terms of our foreign exchange earnings as countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia have achieved.

“This will take some time. However, there is no doubt in my mind that we are on the right track.

“If we consistently and faithfully continue with the implementation of the ERGP we will become an economic production powerhouse. We will be able to feed ourselves and have extra for export.”

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