The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has tasked Governors of the 36 States of Nigeria to make their States more viable by investing more in agriculture, particularly crops in which they have comparative advantage, as well as to reduce their dependence on allocations from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Mr. Emefiele dropped the challenge in Port-Harcourt, on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at the launch of the Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited, which is designed to support improved production and processing of cassava into high quality flour in Rivers State.
He disclosed that the CBN would no longer support the continued importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria, even as he pledged that the Bank will collaborate with Rivers and other States in supporting the development of a viable agricultural and manufacturing sector across the country in line with the CBN mandate of promoting economic growth for the country.
According to him, principal agencies of government at the federal and state level should continue to work hand in hand towards diversifying the Nigerian economy and creating an enabling environment for further investment by firms such as the Rivers Cassava Processing Company.
Emefiele identified land development as a major constraint to increase in agricultural activities in the Southern parts of the country due to its topography, noting that the CBN had partnered with several States Governments in the region under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS).
Continuing, he said about N7.436 billion had been accessed by four States in the South-South region to open up more land for cultivation, create access roads to agricultural lands, and provide infrastructure among other support services in the region.
“These measures are helping to induce greater activity in the agricultural sector and are enabling the movement of goods from farm to factories, and to the markets,” he added.
While commending the Rivers State Government, working with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, the Dutch Embassy Investment Nigeria Limited and their technical partners, in setting up the integrated facility, the CBN Governor said investments such as the cassava plant could help in driving economic growth, reducing unemployment and inducing other wealth creating activities in the state.