Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State House of Assembly has given approval to the state government to access a concessionary loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria totalling three billion, five hundred million naira for strategic projects across the agricultural value chain in the state.
The approval was given on Thursday during its emergency legislative session.
Moving the motion for the approval during plenary, Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Member representing Ogbaru 2 state constituency Hon. Somto Udeze said the sum of fifteen billion naira was provided in the 2018 approved capital estimates to be raised through internal loan.
According to the motion, “whereas the state’s agricultural sector has performed well across key indicators especially in the areas of rice, maize and sorghum production and processing, whereas the state government needs to strenghten efforts in areas such as land development, aquaculture value chain, greenhouse farming, livestock farming;
“Whereas the Central Bank of Nigeria has concessionary loan facility to the tune of N3,500,000,000,00; whereas the state intends to access N1,500,000,000,00 under accelerated agricultural development scheme across the three senatorial zones of the state;
“Whereas the state also intends to access N2,000,000,00 under commercial agriculture credit scheme to fund strategic agricultural projects aimed at growing Anambra economy; and
“Whereas the state is prepared to provide irrevocable standing payment order equivalent to the total financing of three billion, five hundred million naira required to serve as a repayment guarantee to the Central Bank of Nigeria;
“Be it resolved by this hourable house that approval be granted to His Excellency, the Governor of Anambra State to acquire loan facility to the tune of N3,500,000,000, only from the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund strategic projects across the agriculture value chain in Anambra.”
Contributing to discussions on the approval, Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Information and member representing Nnewi-South one constituency Barr. Kingsley Chukwuma Iruba said the agric loan was not every other loan but a concession from the federal government to states to increase agricultural production.
Iruba stated that it would be foolhardy for Anambra not to benefit from such loan facility as it was a veritable opportunity to further enhance and develop the agric sector in the state stressing that the state governor should be commended for taking the bold step to know when other states accessed the loans.