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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday. May24,2011

BUSINESSl35

Jonathan tasl<s BPE on. effective privatisation . lA10RRIED by the poo r VV performa nce of many privatised companies, Pres ident Good lu ck Jonathan h as directed the Bureau of Public Enterpr ises (BP E) to ensure competen ce, ca pability and capacity in a ll priva tisation d ecisions. Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Friday, the Specia l Adv ise r o n Media a nd Publicity to the Pres ide n t, Mr. Ima Niboro, said the pres ident co nsidered privatisa tion as a laudable ini t iative of t h e gove rnm ent aimed at growing the economy. He said the president was _

~

disturbed because ·m any of the p ri vatised compa ni es were not doing well. " In fact, ma ny of th em don't see m to ha ve fared better in private hands than th ey did whe n t h ey were in govern m en t ha nds "Apart from one or two, may be . the Eleme Petrochemicals, others have not don e very well, and the ques tio n is why," he asked. " What guided the in vestment decis ions about th ese companies? " It wou ld ap pear like I sa id , t hat th ere we re co nsiderations othe r than competence a nd capacity in the

final investme nt decis io ns that we re taken," Niboro added. He said the President had directed that 1'0 other considerations like politics and in Ouen ces should be adm itted in privati sa tion deci, sions. " The president is going to be fir m on these dec isions; he is go ing to be strict a nd is &,oing to monito r it directly, Niboro sa id. On the privatised co mpani es t hat were not doing we ll, Niboro sa id the govern m en t would design a mechanism to ass ist them to perform better.

~1'

Delta cooperatives to access NIb agric loan ORE than farmers' t he coopera tives is n ot eno ugh for the state." M coo perative soc ieti es in th e loan is o nl y given to Ochonogor n oted t h at Delta have been approved to a nd not indi- the majo r cha llenge to agribec~use

200

cooper~t ives

access the NI billi on agriculture loan provided by the Federa l Gove rnm ent. Mr. Jonatha n Ochon ogo r, the permanent secretary, state Ministry of Agric ulture and Natural Resources, disclosed th is in an interview w ith the News Age ncy of Nigeria (NAN) in Asa ba on Sun day. Ochon ogo r sa id that t he state government had co ncluded arrangements o n the release of t he mo n ey. He added that the state had sa tisfied a ll the co nditi o ns for accessi ng the loan. He said: " We na ve come to t he final stage in the

F:~d~sih~~a~~(~~~~~~~ti~~~

wa nted an a uthentic list of

vidua l farmers. " That list has been s ubmitted to Ze ni th Bank and it co ntains m ore tnan 200 coopera ti ves in the state th at have been approved for the loa n. We are now waiting for the bank to re lease the fund ." The perm anent secretary said that t he state received more t han 8,000 ap plications fo r the loan, adding that eac h of the cooperative

societies requested for an average o f NIO million loan . Explaini ng further, he said: " Ag ricu lture is capital intensive a nd for any meaningful th ing to be done, the inves tment ha s to be rea· so nab le and fortha t reason I w ill say that eve n Nl billion

cu lt ural development in t h e country was t he lac k o f machines du e to poo r in vest ment a nd limited resources. Ac.co rding to him, most farmers can n ot affo rd t h e machi nes that can open up large expanse of land and cultivate it for huge farming activities. He suggested imp rove d agr icu lt ural credit to enco urage more people to go into l arge-sca le produc, tio n. He expressed optimism that ag ri cu lture wo uld atta in greate r h eights in the country du e to the Federa l Gove rn ment's efforts to boost productivity in th e sector.

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THE GUARDIAN, 24 MAY, 2011  

Delta cooperatives to access N1b agric loan

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