Rivers State Gov. Nyesom Wike has directed blame at Godwin Emiefele, head of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for denying farmers in the state access to agricultural loans through the apex bank.
Gov. Wike leveled the accusation during a visit by Mustapha Shehuri, minister of state for agriculture and rural development, to the Government House in Port Harcourt, alleging that the CBN leader has been playing politics with the loans.
“I think Rivers is one of those states nobody gives loans for agriculture. I don’t know what hatred the CBN Governor has for us? We’ve been hearing of ANCHOR borrower this and that, but when it concerns Rivers, you hear a lot of things.
“Please tell the Governor of CBN to remember us too, that we are part of Nigeria. When we applied, they said this loan was N5 billion. We have applied for more than one year now. They said we should bring this, bring that,” Gov. Wike explained.
The governor went on to emphasize the importance of agriculture in taking the country to greater heights, adding that if Nigeria is earnest about the belief that agriculture will employ countless youths and bring about food security, then it must be pursued with all seriousness and sincerity of purpose.
Minister Shehuri remarked that he had come to Rivers State to inspect ongoing and completed projects meant to promote rural agriculture and food security under the Ministry of Agriculture.
He boasted that the federal government is poised to support Rivers farmers with improved varieties of cassava, chemicals to treat their seeds and new technology to protect crops and address low yields.