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Food security: FG repositions Bank of Agriculture

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has given its nod to the recommendations aimed at repositioning the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to ensure food security…

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has given its nod to the recommendations aimed at repositioning the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to ensure food security for Nigerians.

The NCP also noted a proposal for the establishment of an independent system operator from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to enhance efficiency in the nation’s power sector.

Chaired by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, the NCP approved the recommendations from the committee on BOA during its second meeting of 2024 held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, a statement at the weekend by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has said.

In his address at the meeting, the statement said, the vice president emphasised the importance of optimising BOA as part of the administration’s agenda to provide food security for the nation.

He urged the committee to engage professionals with integrity to manage the process effectively.

Presenting the committee’s report, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who is also the Vice-chairman of the NCP, highlighted the decision to reposition BOA for efficiency and effectiveness.

He expressed confidence that the recommendations would guide the Council in revitalizing the Bank of Agriculture and positioning it globally.

One of the key recommendations includes upgrading the Bank’s ICT infrastructure to automate processes and ensure accountability.

Recall that in 2023, an 8-member inter-ministerial team was set up by the NCP to review the state of affairs at BOA, given its critical role in agriculture and the administration’s commitment to food security.

Additionally, in 2016, the NCP approved collaboration between the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, along with the Federal Ministry of Finance, to restructure and recapitalize BOA.

Established in 1972, BOA, formerly known as Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank, is owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), with the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) holding 60% and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) holding 40%. The bank is supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS).

BOA’s authorised share capital was increased in 2022 from N50 billion to N500 billion to facilitate its repositioning.

The committee, comprising the Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of the Economy as Chairman, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Governor of CBN, Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), Mr. Mohammed Mustapha Bintube, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the NCP, Chairman of the Legal Committee of NCP, and Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as the secretary, worked diligently to arrive at these recommendations.

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