Governor Kayode Fayemi
By Toba Suleiman
Ekiti State Government has declared that it has finally taken custody of the one billion Naira Agricultural credit loan for farmers in the state, which was facilitated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Olayinka Oyebode in Ado-Ekiti, recalled that the state government had in December last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the N1 billion CBN Agric loan.
The Executive Director, Public Sector (South) of the First Bank, Mr. Urum Eke, who was on a courtesy call on the Governor in Ado Ekiti, disclosed that funds for the loan had been received and were awaiting disbursement to benefiting farmers; stressing the need for both the state government and the bank to expedite efforts on how to fast-track agric development in the state.
“I wish to confirm to you that the funds have been received and they are awaiting disbursement to the beneficiaries. I had a discussion with the Commissioner for Agriculture just to underscore the need for us to move very quickly on that and how to accelerate agric development in the state,” he said.
Eke noted that since the 8-point agenda of the Fayemi-led administration roadmaps means to develop Ekiti State, four of the agenda are tied to the Agricultural sector, hence a special focus on the sector.
He said the bank has put in place resources that the state government could tap into to develop the agric sector and actualise its vision for it; adding that aside the involvement of the bank in N25 Billion bond issuance, it was ready to partner the state in areas of mutual interest.
Responding, the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the loan was a sign of good things to come to the state. He expressed commitment to modernising the agric sector; adding that agriculture was not only life to the state but also critical to its development as he is poised to generate income from the sector.
Fayemi, who commended the bank for the support given to the state in raising the N25 billion bond, said the move would put the state on a first-class footing in Nigeria.
He however said that the relationship between the state government and the bank should go beyond mere running of accounts and appealed that the bank should support the state’s tourism corridors to international repute.
With the Governor were his Deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, and the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Kolawole.