By Jimoh Babatunde
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has pledged to assist farmers in Enugu State to access agricultural loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ekweremadu made the pledge when members of Enugu State Amalgamated Farmers Cooperative Society, covering the 17 councils of the state, paid him a courtesy visit in Enugu.
He said that he was disturbed by the fact that most farmers in the state hardly accessed the agricultural loans disbursed by the government.
According to him, such development cannot encourage farmers or boost large-scale agricultural production.
Ekweremadu, who represented Enugu West Senatorial District, said: “We will do something possible to address the problem and support you.
“Your counterparts in the North have been getting the loan and I do not know you people have not been getting.
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“We hope to change the farming you do here to modern and advanced farming as is done abroad. We hope to replicate advanced farming or agriculture in this part of the world.
“Your coming today is to lay the foundation for a better tomorrow and we are forming a partnership this morning.
“I am going to pay more attention to the CBN agric loan, since you have mentioned it,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Obi Okonkwo, leader of the farmers’ cooperative, had told Ekweremadu that one of the major challenges was inability to access both the loans from the state and Federal Governments over time.
Okonkwo said: “We don’t always have access to the loans for farmers given by the state government or the Federal Government via the CBN.
“We would like you to assist us in this regard,” he said.
He lauded Ekweremadu in using his Ikeoha Educational Foundation to reach out to the entire Enugu State and not discriminating against any senatorial zone.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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