Nigeria is seeking to diversify its economy amid falling oil prices that has snagged its growth.
Africa’s biggest economy has been reeling from an oil slump causing the economy to grow by a mere 2.8 percent in 2015, its slowest pace over a decade.
It is against this backdrop that president Muhammadu Buhari urged lenders on Monday to increase borrowing to the agricultural sector.
Banks should be leaned upon to substantially increase their lending to the agricultural sector. *_Reuters_*
Speaking to state officials at a meeting of the advisory National Economic Council (NEC), Buhari affirmed his campaign promise of expanding the country’s agricultural sector.
“Banks should be leaned upon to substantially increase their lending to the agricultural sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should bear part of the risk of such loans as a matter of national policy,” he said.
Half a century ago, the country’s agricultural sector was nascent and export crops were the main foreign exchange earner.
Nonetheless, the sector still plays a major role in Nigeria’s economy, providing a labour force of over 60 percent.
In February, the European Union (EU) vowed to assist the West African country to diversify its economy. Even so, EU said it was important that the country change some reforms to create the right environment to attract and sustain investments.