By Sule Aliyu, Bauch
Following the successful implementation of the massive Rice Farming scheme under the Anchor Borrowers programme, Bauchi State Government has gone into collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme that seeks to provide 10,000 jobs to unemployed youth.
According to a Press Statement signed by Press Secretary to the governor, Comrade Abubakar Al-Sadique, a copy of which was made available to national trail says a team from the CBN led by the head of Agricultural Development Programme, Hajiya Amina Umar visited the governor in Abuja on State governments engagement on Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme.
Hajiya Amina Umar commended Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar for the “successful implementation of the Anchor Borrowers rice farming scheme in Bauchi State that shows the Buhari administration’s agricultural programme is on the right track.”
She therefore urged other state governors to copy the Bauchi State experience in which the governor personally visited rice farms to assess the performance of the programme, pointing out that with commitment to agriculture; the nation has vast arable land that can feed not only the nation but the entire West African sub-region.
Responding, Governor Abubakar assured that his administration is always ready to collaborate with Central Bank of Nigeria and any organisation that will bring development to the state, assuring that his administration is poised to create the necessary enabling environment that will create jobs to “our unemployed youth who, in spite of threats, and against all odds stood by our party, the APC, in the 2015 elections.”
While lamenting the poor state of the nation’s economy, as a result of which the APC was short of providing the number of jobs it promised during campaigns, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar said the party had performed beyond average “under the economic circumstances it came into being and with the paucity of resources at the disposal of our governments.”
The governor said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s State governments’ engagement on Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme is in line with the campaign promises of the All Progressives Congress, which his administration pursues seriously since its inauguration in 2015.
Governor Abubakar had while addressing farmers after visiting farmlands with over 2500 hectres of rice in Itas Gadau and Zaki local government areas in June this year, said his administration had provided 400 million naira to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme as a palliative measure for the farmers to continue with cultivation that would have been hampered by the delay in the release of funds to associations by commercial banks.
He told the farmers that his administration was compelled to take that action because of the failure of commercial banks to release the funds to the Anchor Borrowers Rice Farmers associations in the state, but assured them that the problems encountered in accessing the funds from the CBN-supported scheme in the state were being addressed with the banks.