Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, says that the country’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA) will be recapitalized to boost agricultural production.Speaking when he met with officials of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises in his office on Tuesday in Abuja, the minister said that after bank’s recapitalization, it would be large enough to provide loans to farmers at single digit interest rates.
He disclosed that the officials and other participants met and discussed how to recapitalise the BOA in order to make it more efficient and effective in the agricultural sector.
He announced that the country saved $21 billion on food imports in the last three and half years.
According to him, Nigeria increased the export of its agricultural produce by 500 percent within the period under review.
“Two banks in Nigeria announced that we have actually saved $21 billion on food imports in three and half years, and the National Bureau of Statistics has affirmed that agriculture exportation has gone up to 500 percent since we came in, and we are just beginning,” he said.
The minister noted that the country needs value addition and cottage industries, as these would help decongest most cities in Nigeria.
“This is important so that young people can be comfortable in their rural environments, make money and live a good life. We want to minimise the tendency of our young people crossing the desert to Europe in search of happiness which does not exist there,” Ogbeh said.