In its bid to fast track development of food security in Nigeria, the Bank of Agriculture has introduce programmes for young graduates and women to enhance and increase their involvement in the agricultural production sector.
To this end, the Bank has fine-tuned its Youth in Agriculture Development in Nigeria (YAN) programme which presently attracts lower interest rates as beneficiaries can now access up to N1million agric loan for a start, and also take even more instantly on repayment. The same procedure applies to the women in agriculture.
Disclosing this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital while flagging off the Banking Operations and Customer Care Workshop for the Bank of Agriculture staff drawn from the three Southern Zones of the country, the Executive Director, Corporate Services, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu Sambo specifically charged youth in the Niger Delta region to take full advantage of the portfolios opened for them whereby they can access the agric loan of a minimum of N1million to boost their fish farming.
Sambo, who spoke through the South West Zonal Manager, Mrs. Idiat Titlayo Folorunsho announced the Bank of Agriculture’s commitment to positively change the orientation of Nigerians towards agricultural development.
“We want to fine tune our relationship with our farmers. We want to make sure that our farmers are well taken care of so that we can jointly do it better in the overall interest of the nation,” Mrs. Folorunsho stated.
According to her, the main focus of the Bank of Agriculture is to take care of the customers by following up repayment through adequate monitoring, and ensuring paying back so as to take more loans for expansion.
Mrs. Folorunsho noted with concern that even though the rural farmers are already used to the system of the Bank of Agriculture, “many elites take the Bank’s loans, re-locate, change address and we never find them again, thus making recovery difficult.”
“Consequently, we concentrate more on rural development. It is easy for us to monitor as we go through community leaders who guarantee the beneficiaries and make recovery much easier,” she said.
Mrs. Folorunsho, while commenting on the objectives of the workshop, explained that it was geared towards updating the Bank’s staff on the modern trends in agricultural banking such as acquiring knowledge on the fundamental principles of Banking, identify the Risks and Control Measures, acquire Customer Care Techniques, and the use of ICT for Customer Care.
She remarked that the Bank has been spending much on capacity building for its staff in order to improve on service delivery and customer satisfaction.