Ebonyi Govt Earmarks N16bn Agric Loan for Farmers

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Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Government wednesday said it had set aside a total of N16billion loan for civil servants and other private entrepreneurs in the state to engage in agriculture and other businesses.

He added that the committee set up by the state government had received 3,000 applications from entrepreneurs while 17,000 and 10,000 farmers have indicated interest for rice and cassava productions respectively.

Briefing journalists in Abakaliki, the Commissioner for Information and state Orientation, Senator Emmanuel Onwe explained that N8billion from the amount would be accessed for business purposes while the remaining N8billion would be accessed by civil servants for agriculture.

The commissioner noted that the state government and Bank of Industry provided the sum of N4billion each for the N8billion business loan while

N8billion agric loan was borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN).

Onwe said: “The N8bn is reinforced with Bank of Industry (BOI). The state government provided N4billion and Bank of Industry provided N4bn which brings investment pot of N8bn.

“If you are a civil servant, you can borrow whatever amount that you need. Civil servant can borrow up to N250,000 for agriculture but civil servants can borrow any amount up to N20million if you have a business plan that has well articulated profit and loss account which is what we call return and investment.

“The BOI is there, there is a dedicated government appointee for that and there is a specific committee set up on that. The committee has gone round local governments in the state, they have got some applicants, and they have accessed the applicants. The committee has accessed more than 3,000.

“In terms of the agric loan, the N8billion was borrowed from CBN and the farmers have been accessed. So far, we have got about 17,000
farmers to do rice cultivation and about 10,000 farmers to do cassava
cultivation,” he said.