From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said the restructuring and repositioning of Bank of Agriculture (BoA) would help in the diversification of Nigeria’s economy from over-dependence on oil.
Speaking yesterday in Kaduna at “Launch of Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening of Bank of Agriculture Project”, Ogbeh said President Muhammadu Buhari had since given his nod for the restructuring and repositioning of the bank.
The Minister who was represented by Mr. Godwin Obinna Opara, of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, “restructuring, re-capitalising and repositioning of BoA were one of such programmes through which Buhari had given his approval considering it remains a key instrument required for funding agricultural activities to help diversify the economy away from this over-reliance on oil.
“At no other time in the history of Nigeria has government taken such interest and time to assess the operations of BoA with a view to exploring these potential by promotion of agricultural practice through initiating and adopting appropriate financing measures needed than now.
“Let me at this point acknowledge the laudable support from African Development Bank (AfDB), which has over time invested in Nigeria’s economy particularly in agricultural value chain programmes.
“To bring all these dreams to reality, government needs to put in place a financial mechanism, which is capable of funding agricultural activities on sustainable basis.
“It is for this reason that Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on January 16, 2017, inaugurated a 21-man Steering Committee to be chaired by my humble self and a nine-man Joint Project Team to help conclude the process within three months.
“I therefore want to congratulate the MD/CEO of BoA, Prof. Danbala Danju, for the bold steps already taken. I assure you that with this exercise already running, the task of the Steering Committee has also started. I want to assure of the support of government in repositioning and recapitalisation of BoA for the good of Nigerian farmers and the economy.”
Also speaking, Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, said BOA will be restructured to meet a model that will help it to do business, particularly with rural populace that are into agricultural business.
Akpotaire said, specifically, policy and regulation of BoA will undergo due restructuring. He also added that staff capacity, financial base, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of the bank will be restructured to meet international standard in agro-allied enterprises.