The Federal Government has earmarked the sum of $300million (about N110billion) as a support initiative for about 5,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agribusiness.
Speaking at the launch of the scheme in Abuja, recently, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the Federal Government was creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive among SMEs, through a collaboration with the US and other stakeholders. According to the Vice President, “the synergy between the US and the Federal Government is a way for the future.”
The USAID contractor of the FTF Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity, Adam Saffer, explained that Nigeria has tremendous opportunity to take advantage of, as it relates to arable land in the country, abundant water, human resources, fertile soil and other natural resources that should make Nigeria not only self-sufficient but also the food basket of the region.
“FTF Activity, in order to help Nigeria reach the target, is working with financial institutions, investors, agro data, processors and other businesses and producers to create a more enabling environment to attract those finances and investors.
“With a more efficient agribusiness sector, food generation, better income and more inclusiveness of women and youth, we can end up with a better quality food at a lower price. Our activity is trying to activate $300million from the investors, from the banks and from the finance institutions to make this happen,” said Saffer.
Also in attendance at the event was the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, who explained that the US government would partner with Nigeria to improve the ease of doing business in the agriculture sector, while mitigating the risks to lending institutions and promote investment opportunities for agribusiness to expand and scale up their operations.
Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, and Cross River states are targeted under the initiative which is in partnership with the United States and other stakeholders.