Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina
By James Emejo
The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) has sealed a N3.5 billion finance pact with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to improve agricultural productivity.
The deal was finalised in Abuja, Friday, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina and the Managing Director, BoA, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki.
The MoU prescribed the establishment of an Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise and it would help in the acquisition of 400 units of tractors.
Speaking at the event, Santuraki said the financing would be done through Public Private Partnership (PPP), as the bank had undertaken to finance the interested Service Providers Operators (SPOs).
He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive by that the bank be recapitalised to N15 billion would enable it “refocus the institution on its core mandate of agriculture and rural financing.”
He said: “We have reviewed our operating model, modernised the institution and retrain the staff to create a more sustainable and impactful institution."
He added that BoA was now positioned to review its operating model to conform to international best practices of successful agricultural development.
Adeshina, however, said the agreement would help to put additional 152,000 hectares of land under cultivation, which would in turn add 760,000 tons of food to the country’s national output per annum.