The Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, on Thursday shared cash gifts to local farmers, artisans and traders.
A source told DAILY NIGERIAN on Saturday that the governor played Santa when he toured rice fields to assess the level of infestation by some pests at Matankari, Suru Local Government Area of the state.
The governor also visited some markets in the state and shared money to traders.
On March 6, Mr Bagudu sought the support of the Federal Government on better lending programmes to strengthen agriculture in Nigeria.
Mr Bagudu noted that the total amount of money made available for under the anchor borrowers programme is appreciable, but insufficient compared to what is obtainable in other sectors of the country.
”For N54b is the total amount of money made available under the anchor borrowers programme.
“It is not little, we thank Federal Government, Central bank because this is the first time it is happening in Nigeria, but it is even little money compared with what goes on in other sector.
“For example when the asset management company was created in 2010, it was created to take over bad loans from the commercial bank system, N4 trillion bad loans was not just in one sector, it was oil and gas, shares certificate, land certificate.
“That spending of N54b has resulted in the magic we have seen in terms of food production should be a bigger story than repayment challenges that should occasion any programme like this.”
The governor lamented that NNPC in two months alone spent about N180billion on subsidy, while the country’s lending to agriculture under anchor borrowers programme for 2.5 years across 31 states is just N54billion.
He said this necessitated the need for massive investment in agriculture to be able to attain food sufficiency and security.
“So we need massive investment in agriculture. Countries that have achieved food sufficiency spent decades supporting agriculture, providing different producer support.
“Two months that fuel subsidy alone is about N180b but yet our lending to agriculture under anchor borrowers for 2.5 years across 31 states is just N54b so we need massive investment in agriculture. Countries that have achieved food sufficiency spent decades supporting agriculture, providing different producer support,” he added.