The current scarcity of foreign exchange facing the country is being turned into an advantage through the local production of goods for which hard currencies were wasted on imports.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who reiterated the assertion during the assessment tour of the farmlands cultivated under its anchor borrowers programme in Kebbi State at the weekend, said that agriculture is the bedrock of genuine economic growth of any nation and that Nigeria could not be an exception.
A statement by the Acting Director of Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, in Abuja, yesterday, quoted the governor as saying rice output from Kebbi State alone had proved wrong, critics of the apex bank’s forex policy measures.
Emefiele, who commended farmers and the Kebbi State government for their determination and commitment in the scheme, noted that with the level of success attained in the pilot project in the state, in addition to the progress at Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger, it is now a reality that the country can produce enough to feed itself and even export in no distant future.
The governor stated that agriculture remained the bedrock of genuine economic growth of any nation, adding that Nigeria could not be an exception.
As such, he said Nigeria with large expanse of arable land ought not to be spending huge amounts of money on importing food items at the expense of other competing needs.
The CBN governor disclosed that a total of 78,581 farmers were mobilised in Kebbi State under the anchor borrowers programme and the disbursement of N4.9 billion as loans to the farmers, about 570,000 direct jobs have been created, while 70,871 of the rural farmers now own and operate bank accounts.