Six states to benefit from BOI, Agric Ministry’s N13.6bn rice, cassava mills


Staff member
UF Member
Sixteen states are to benefit from the N13.6billion pact entered into by the Bank of Industry, BOI and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as intervention funds for rice and cassava milling in the country.

The duo signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for N13.6 bn loan solely targetted at the private sector at a maximum of 10 years with a 3-year cessation at 5 per cent interest flat rate per annum to 16 benefiting states.

Ten out of the 16 states – Benue, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Ogun and Anambra, are for rice mills while the remaining seven states – Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Delta, Cross River and Nasarawa are for cassava mills.
The Managing Director of BOI, Mr Rasheed Olaoluwa at the signing of the MOU in Abuja on Thursday, explained that the objective of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda is not only to increase crop production, but also to create value-added food processing industries as a means of reducing food imports.

“And the whole idea of the fund is to enable this administration to advance the already successful agric transformation agenda and to take it to an advanced stage, by setting up 10 medium sized rice mills and 6 high quality cassava mills across the country.

“Over the last three years, a lot of activities have been undertaken to improve and encourage the local production of the items in Nigeria as we are now in the critical stage where there is a need for effective processing of the agricultural produce,” he said.

Speaking further, the BoI boss stated that the MoU will address the modalities of ensuring that the 16 states which the funds are meant for, materialised in few months time, adding that, “it is therefore hoped that by the time the 10 rice and 6 cassavas mills companies are fully operational, evidently, the amount of rice and cassava importation in Nigeria would be significantly reduced, if not totally eliminated.”
Responding, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina, said the federal government has resolved to bridge the milling gap in the country.

Adeshina said the ministry had been able to reach out to “Within three years 6million farmers who cultivated two million hectares and have produced seven million metric tons of rice. He affirmed that the N13.6billion will integrate rice mills with a 36,000 metric tons capacity each from the 10 mills in those States and 72,000 metric tons capacity each from the cassava mills in the six States.