The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed at the end of the 7th annual retreat of the Bankers Committee in Lagos that lending to the agricultural sector would be increased by N300 billion in 2016.
In his words, “Banks generally agreed to increase lending to the agricultural sector, but the committee feels that there is the need to de-risk the agricultural value chain. The bankers’ committee also feels that the monetary and fiscal authorities need to work together in a collaborative manner to achieve the objective of improving local production of specific agricultural products, so that as a result of lending to this sector, we can begin to see a reduction in the demand for foreign exchange that would help to conserve our foreign exchange reserves and strengthen our currency.
“Banks feel that there is a need to improve the level of infrastructure in various sectors. For instance, build more Fadama roads, build more silos and warehouses to receive final produce, so that products don’t get destroyed at the farm.
“We should have Fadama roads which makes it easy for goods to be transported from the local communities to areas where they could be sold to increase the wealth of those in our local communities.
“Banks therefore set a target to boost agricultural lending not only to the small and medium enterprises, but also to large scale farming and companies to up to N300 billion in 2016.”