The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that from henceforth, its doors are no longer open for farmers whose farmlands exist only in their brief cases.
This was made known in Afam, the headquarters of Oyigbo Local Government Area, during the Flag Off ceremony of Ecobank, CBN and MAGPAMAN, 2020 wet season Anchor Borrowers Program.
The apex bank representative in the Flag-Off, Mrs. Augustina Osuya said that era when people walked into the bank to seek for loans for non-existing farms are no longer feasible as the bank has put measures in place that would help them verify genuine farmers in Nigeria.
Mrs. Osuya urged MAGPAMAN farmers to take the gesture from CBN serious by ensuring that from next planting season they plant from their farm and also made available dry maize to CBN as a way of repaying their loan.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area, Hon. Gerald Oforji who was represented by his supervisor for Agriculture, Hon. Christian Okere advised members of MAGPAMAN to use the loan judiciously and to ensure that the farm strives.
He stated that the loan is not meant for members of MAGPAMAN to marry new wives or pick new titles in their communities.
The Chairman equally assured them of support from the council that would lead to the sustainability of the over 300 hectares maize farm in the area.
Speaking earlier, the Rivers State Chairperson of Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, MAGPAMAN, Comrade Helen Dienye Jaja noted that agriculture has consistently failed in Rivers State due to the large number of portfolio farmers.
She opined that with the presence of MAGPAMAN, the bad stories about Rivers State in terms of agriculture has changed. Comrade Jaja commended the Central Bank for their support despite the bad images that portfolio farmers as she puts it, has created for farmers in the state.
She equally thanked the President, Mohammadu Buhari, State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the Executive Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area, Prince Gerald Oforji for their immense support for MAGPAMAN.
Jaja also commended the national chairman of MAGPAMAN, Dr. Edwin Uche for his fatherly support and encouragement towards the growth and stability of the association in Rivers state.
The erudite State Chairperson, commended the local government areas coordinators from Oyigbo, Khana, Opobo/Nkoro, Eleme, Abua Odual, Ogba Egbema Ndoni and Ikwerre local government areas for their steadfastness in matters concerning the association.
On her part, Ecobank representative, Mrs. Mary Opara said that the loan shouldn't be seen as a palliative by members of MAGPAMAN as the bank is ready to work with the union as long as the right attitude is maintained.
The high point of the event was the official cutting of tape and Flag Off of the wet season Anchor Borrowers Program, the elevation of the Oyigbo coordinator, Joseph Akaya as head of Media and publicity of the association in the state.