Determined to expand the scope of agric business and reposition Ekiti State as the food basket of the South West, the state government has commenced discussions with Wema Bank aimed at reviving the farmers cooperative initiative.
Under the proposed scheme, the bank is to provide funding to farmers in order to help them expand their business and also meet the target of the Fayemi-led administration.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Friday while receiving the Managing Director of Wema Bank, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said the state is passionate about exploiting the potentials in the sector as a source of income for the State, hence the decision to seek partnership with relevant institutions that have genuine interest in agric business.
Fayemi who noted that industrial development is also hinged on agricultural development, said a partnership with the Wema Bank would boost the industrial drive of the state as it needs financial support for the on-going resuscitation of some moribund industries, including the Ire Burnt Brick Industry at Ire Ekiti.
While stating that the State needed more than the account holding partnership, the Governor commended the Bank for buying into the Bond raised by the state government; saying that a bulk of the bond is already being committed to infrastructure and has restored the hope of the citizenry.
“For us, we have always said we dont need a FAAC or JAAC or VAT partnership but we need a partner both in the dry season and raining season; people who can work with us in infrastructure financing, for example and I must commend you for supporting our bond initiative. That was responsible for many of the things we are doing in town because without that, we know what we get from the federal coffers, it is peanut by the time we pay salary, we really don’t have much left but with the capital market, it has enabled us restore confidence and engender hope among our people”, he said.
Fayemi who advised the Bank management to open branches in rural areas of the state to enable workers who use micro-finance banks get their salaries through the e-payment systems, urged the Wema Bank team to design loan schemes that could help the workers meet their financial needs.
Earlier the Managing Director of the Bank, Mr Segun Oloketuyi had expressed the readiness of the bank to embark on agric funding initiatives that would help farmers expand their businesses to meet the target of the Fayemi-led administration to commercialize agriculture in the state. In addition, he said the Bank would provide tractors for the use of farmers in the State.
Olokeyuyi added that the Bank was planning to support the state in the construction of the proposed Ado Ekiti modern market as well as a computer skills acquisition training.
Last modified: July 2, 2012