CBN, NACCIMA work out plan to disburse agric fund

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) will be working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make sure that the Agric sector benefits from the recently-announced N500 billion agricultural fund earmarked for them.

Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, the Director General of NACCIMA, who disclosed this over the weekend in Lagos, noted that the NACCIMA’s involvement was to ensure that those involved in agricultural produce for export are captured in the fund’s accessibility. According to him.

According to the director, the body is also working to make sure that its members are properly informed on what the project is all about, in order to enable them to access various government funding programmes that are available. He also noted that smallholder farmers and medium-scale farmers are the major targets of the programme.

“With N500billion set aside by CBN, we want to strategically work with the CBN to see that Agriculture value chain in the country, and our Chamber members especially those on the Agriculture sector tap into the new programme to boost the food basket of the country.

“We have been pushing for our members to be more engaged with various initiatives and incentives that have been announced by the government. This is part of the things we are doing to expand the capacity of Agric value chain programmes and projects.”

Meanwhile, he commented on the African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCTA), stating that “NACCIMA has thrown its weight behind the Government’s decision to sign and to leverage on the advantage of the trade to develop itself.”

According to Olukanni, Nigeria cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities presented by AfCTA, especially considering the fact that the country is a major player in the continent. He then went further to assert that AfCTA will supposedly help to make sure that locally manufactured goods are well considered in the country. It will also help to restore competition in the market, he also added.

He further argued that AfCTA will help put the government on its toes because the trade agreement will lead to the country closing the infrastructural gap that has been existing for decades.

Speaking more on the competitiveness that the AfCTA will bring into the market, Olukanni maintained that when proper trade policies are put in place and thoughtfully enforced, that the country has nothing to be afraid of. Instead, the country’s competitiveness will be encouraged.