The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Malam Sabo Nanono said that the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in Nigeria was still in distress due to lack of tangible approach to recapitalize it despite the declarations in the past.
The Bank of Agriculture had been established by the Federal Government to stimulate the agricultural practices to bring improvement in the lives and to help grow the communities through the provision of agricultural credit to support all agricultural value chain activities. Ironically, it’s now in the distress.
The Minister made it known to all while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said that it demoralized that a bank established solely to fulfil the needs of the farmers in Nigeria was in distress without any serious action to reposition that.
Malam Nanono further noted that the agricultural sector, as a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), should not be treated with the kids’ glove. Thus, anything required to reposition it must be done with all seriousness.
He said that “the plan was never beyond the newspaper publications. I think there was no serious attempt and personally, I think that is not the best approach.
“The best approach is to look at it properly and to reorganize the bank and reposition it. “If you are to sell the Bank of Agriculture now, you have to look at some portfolios from its life assets to dead assets and to see the balance between the two. “Can you afford at that point to go to the public, and are you going to privatise it? That means selling it at a go or is it going to be a partial investment.
“If the Private Sector is keying into buying it, obviously they have to look at the portfolio investment of the bank, and to me, it is not a comfortable position now to go into the financial market for investment,” he said further.
The Minister also stated that he is committed to ensuring that the bank picks up as soon as possible to carry out its mandate. He assured for having appointed a committee to look into it how the bank can be reorganized to fulfill its vision to become the foremost self-sustaining development finance institution in Africa.