By Aisha Cole
Lagos – Dr Ayobami Omotoso, President, Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria (CIECOBON), says that Nigeria will feed its citizens and other African countries with the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Federal Government.
Omotoso made the assertion during the 2019 Award Presentation Ceremony held at the Institute’s Secretariat in Lagos on Thursday.
According to him, the Federal Government is readily available to assist farmers through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and other windows through which money was released by Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc.
According to him, NIRSAL is an organ of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that renders financial assistance to farmers, small and medium enterprises.
NIRSAL also has the mandate to stimulate the flow of affordable finance and investments into the agricultural sector by de-risking the agribusiness finance value chain and institutionalising incentives for agricultural lending through its five strategic pillars, namely: Risk Sharing, Insurance, Technical Assistance, Incentives and Rating.
“With the support of government, Nigeria can now feed herself and even Africa as a whole. What we just need to do is to retrace our steps back to farm, process the commodities and make good gains.
“The era of white collar job has come and gone. We need more entrepreneurs to grow our commodities for the local industries that will give employment to Nigerians and sell at international markets.
“We appreciate the effort of the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for closing the borders which is now of more benefits and gains to Nigeria,” Omotoso said.
He urged members to be ready to serve to improve the standard of the institute.
Omotoso appealed to stakeholders for support to enable the institute pay the N2. 5 million loan used in renting another befitting secretariat, saying that the institute also needed 1million to furnish the secretariat.
He said that the institute honoured five founders with meritorious award; seven with Associates; 13 people with full membership; and 28 people with Fellows.
One of the awardees, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ezekiel Oladele, Olupole of Ipole Iloro Ekiti, commended the government’s effort which had yielded success in farming business in the state.
The monarch said that the people of Ekiti had been exporting cocoa and cashew, saying that presently he had been encouraging the people to start exporting yams.
Oladele said that Ekiti State had improved in farming of quality rice, to be available for export in future.
He commended the efforts of the management of the institute for extending an award to him and promised to support the association with advice.
The Director-General, Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, Mr Hamma Kwajaffa, who represented Mr Umar Goni-Iya-Ahmed, urged Nigerian farmers to improve on their farming to enable them have reserve for export which he said would boost the foreign reserve of Nigeria Economy.
He called on the regulatory authorities to provide adequate laboratory to examine the commodities in order to stop the rejection of exportable products.
One of the beneficiaries of CIECOBON’s awards, Mrs Oluwakemi Adeyiga, said she would support other members to contact as many countries as possible to find out what the farmers were doing wrong that caused constant rejection of expert commodities. (NAN)