The All Farmers Association of Nigeria says the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor by President Muhammadu Buhari was a confirmation that the President is “agriculture friendly”.
Chief Daniel Okafor, the Vice National President of the association, made the position known to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday while commending Buhari for the re-appointment.
Okafor appealed to Emefiele to continue with the Anchor Borrowers Programme 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 agriculture loans to stand between three and five per cent.
Okafor appealed to Emefiele to initiate other agriculture friendly programmes and also support the Bank of Agriculture with funds to enable farmers’ access to agriculture loans.
He said: “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 Programme 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, he should also initiate other agriculture friendly programmes.
“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.”
President Buhari had in a letter to the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, dated May 8, presented for confirmation Emefiele as CBN governor for a final term of five years.
The CBN in line with its developmental functions established the ABP, which was launched by Buhari in November 2015
The programme, 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.
Its thrust was the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash to small holder farmers to boost production, stabilise inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance on food prices.