President Buhari Directs CBN To Extend Rice Project To 14 States.

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the Anchor Borrowers’ programme in rice production to 14 other states in the country as part of the efforts to ensure food sufficiency in Nigeria.

Kebbi was the first state in Nigeria to begin the Anchor Borrowers’ programme.

The representative of the CBN on the Bank of Industry (BoI) Board and Executive Director, Corporate Services in the bank, Jonathan Tobin, disclosed this at a media parley organised by BoI for journalists in Lagos at the weekend.

He revealed that the presidential directive stemmed from the successful implementation of the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme in rice production in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

Tobin said that the president had approved the following states:

- All the states in the North,

including Cross River,



Ebonyi states,

Tobin said that fresh funds are being packaged by the apex bank to ensure that the programme is given all necessary funding to ensure the success of the scheme.

He said the CBN supported food production initiative to increase local production of rice and wheat in the country in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify the economy through agriculture.

The CBN executive said that the main reason for this Anchor Borrowers’ programme by the apex bank was for it to address some food commodities that the government is hugely spending so much foreign exchange on for their imports into the country, such as rice and wheat.

Available statistics indicate that Nigeria can no longer afford to spend huge foreign exchange on the importation of food items that can be produced locally in view of decreasing oil revenue.

About N1 trillion is spent annually on food imports. According to CBN figures, import of rice and wheat alone was N428 billion and N307 billion in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

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