Gov. Abiodun economical with truth over agric policies – says Amosun’s aide—
A former Special Assistant to former Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Agriculture, Tosin Ademuyiwa has accused the incumbent Gov. Dapo Abiodun of lying over claims that Ogun State under Amosun never accessed the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Program through the public window.
Ademuyiwa said Abiodun was economical with the truth for insinuating that the Senator Amosun-led administration did not invest in Agriculture, describing same as “misleading and mischievous”.
Prince Abiodun, while inaugurating a steering committee during the week to oversee the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers’ Programme at his Okemosan office in Abeokuta, was quoted to have said, “The target of our administration is to produce enough food to attain self sufficiency in food security in the short term and over the long term, produce enough food for other states and for export.
“Providence has blessed us with favourable climate and fertile soil for agriculture, we sit on a land mass that is over 16,000 Sqm, 80% of which is arable, that is we have over 12,800 Sqm of arable land.
“While we have seen the success of the anchor borrowers scheme in other states, it is disheartening that Ogun State has ‘never’ accessed the CBN anchor borrowers program through the public window.”
Reacting, Ademuyiwa, in a statement made available to DAILY POST said, “Several times and in many ways, Ogun state farmers benefited from single digit agricultural credit sourced and facilitated through the public window under the government of Senator Amosun. The government, as the borrower (or guarantor), decides which loan facility to take, considering the crop involved, interest rate, repayment terms and other factors. This is good public sector management.”
The former government appointee disclosed that Amosun, during his first term as Governor, sourced for a N1billion CACs (Commercial Agricultural Credit) loan at 9% from the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that about 1,171 farmers benefited across different sectors, including cattle dealers, fish, poultry and cassava farmers.
Ademuyiwa added that the prudent management, monitoring and good repayment history of those loans, led to a five-fold increase of the CACs loan to N5bn, which he said about 5,000 beneficiaries across the state enjoyed, with additional infrastructure put in place at 9% interest rate, same as the Anchor Borrowers rate.
The statement reads:
“Anchor Borrowers Loan: Prince Dapo Abiodun was economical with the truth
“Our attention has been drawn to the statement credited to current Ogun State Govermor Prince Dapo Abiodun that “he was disheartened that Ogun State never accessed the CBN Anchor Borrowers Program through the public window”, and the insinuation that the Senator Amosun led administration did not invest in Agriculture, which is misleading and mischievous.
“Several times and in many ways, Ogun state farmers benefited from single digit agricultural credit sourced and facilitated through the public window under the government of Senator Amosun. The government, as the borrower (or guarantor), decides which loan facility to take, considering the crop involved, interest rate, repayment terms and other factors. This is good public sector management.
“In the first term of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, a N1billion CACs (Commercial Agricultural Credit) loan at 9% was sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria and about 1171 farmers benefited across different sectors including cattle dealers, fish, poultry and cassava farmers. This included the renowned IDIPR (Ijebu Development Initiative for Poverty Reduction). The prudent management, monitoring and good repayment history of these loans, led to a five-fold increase of the CACs loan to N5bn, which about 5000 beneficiaries across the state enjoyed and additional infrastructure was also put in place . The cost of CACs to beneficiaries is 9%, the same as the Anchor Borrowers rate of 9%.
“These loans do not include other credits facilitated by the Senator Amosun led government by way of counterpart funding for schemes. For example, over N1.7billion was made available to about 9000 farmers in the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) and similarly over N700m to about 1600 farmers for the Fadama III-AF program.
“The Fadama GUYS program launched by Prince Dapo Abiodun on August 29th 2019, was initiated by the Senator Amosun led Administration in 2017, leading to the disbursement after 28 May 2019. Thousands of farmers across many sectors including rice, cassava, fish, poultry, oil palm, cocoa and cashew have benefited from state interventions and thousands of hectares of land were opened up for agriculture. In addition, the administration invested in infrastructure, creating new farm settlements like Owowo Farm Estate, and renovating or starting new activities in the old agricultural structures like Eweje Farm Institute at Odeda, where the Fadama GUYS training was held in 2017.
“The agricultural sector does not stand in isolation and benefits from public sector loans for rural roads, storage, water schemes, and other infrastructure that guarantees growth and sustainability. Indeed, this is the thrust of the $350m World Bank long term, low single-digit concessionary loan (25 years with a 5 year moratorium and a 1.65% interest rate), designed to stimulate the agricultural and industrial sectors. Such holistic programs bring lasting development – not political gain.
“In summary, the Senator Amosun Administration emphasized the importance of Agriculture by making it one of its five cardinal programs. The Senator Amosun administration consistently improved on not only finance at concessionary rates, but all the factors necessary to ensure that Ogun State achieves the position of being the leading agribusiness state in the Southwest of Nigeria.”