The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has hailed the re-appointment of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as a confirmation that the president is “agriculture- friendly”.
The Vice National President of the association, Chief Daniel Okafor, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, that the re-appointment was commendable. Okafor appealed to Emefiele to continue with the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and ensure that all agriculture commodities associations benefitted from the programme in his second tenure. He also appealed to the CBN governor to ensure the reduction of interest rates on agricultural loans to three or five per cent.
Okafor appealed to the CBN governor to initiate other agriculture-friendly program and also support the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) with funds to enable farmers’ access to agriculture loans.
“We welcome this development. We commend the president for re-appointing Emefiele. It means that the president is agriculture-friendly. We thank him for that. We want the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) to continue; so, we welcome his continuity. The National Assembly should do the needful because farmers need the man at the helm of affairs in CBN.
“CBN has been agriculture-friendly since Emefiele’s tenure, but we want him to ensure that every commodity is accommodated in the ABP. We will like him to continue; he is a good candidate, kudos to Emefiele, but he should do more not only on ABP but he should also initiate other agriculture- friendly programs. The CBN should also ensure that BoA is supported to get money so that farmers can get loans when necessary. He should also try to reduce loan interest rates to be between three and five per cent,’’ Okafor said.
President Buhari had in a letter to the Senate The CBN in line with its developmental functions, established the ABP, which was launched by Buhari in November 2015. The program, which had benefitted millions of farmers, was aimed at creating a linkage between anchor companies involved in processing and small holder farmers of key agricultural commodities.