Kebbi Government has spent N5 billion on commercial agricultural loans for the benefit of its farmers as part of dividends of democracy from 2015 to date.
The state Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu made this known on Wednesday, on the occasion to commemorate democracy day in Birnin Kebbi.
“As a major rice producing state in Nigeria, Kebbi introduced commercial agricultural loans for the benefit of its farmers to the tune of N5 billion,” he said.
Bagudu added that the government paid to IFAD a counterpart fund of N40 million to support 97 farmers in the areas of rice, sorghum and cowpea production, reflected as loans and grants.
“In a similar vein, the state government purchased 100 sets of tractors along with threshers, rice rippers and power tillers to enhance agricultural mechanisation,” he said.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Samaila Yombe, said about 450,000 jobs were created and more than 40,000 multimillionaires were produced as a result of the efforts of the state government through its agricultural enhancement policy.
“We have advanced loans to many farming groups such as fish farmers, mongers and petty traders,” he said.
According to him, over N5 billion is expended as a buy back from the state farmers from 2015 to 2016.
“In order to encourage rice and wheat farming in the state, the state government had purchased N5 billion worth of rice and wheat as a buy back from the state farmers in 2015 and 2016 farming season alone.
”The scheme has been sustained over the years,” he said.
The governor said significant progress had been recorded in the areas of educational attainment, health care delivery, infrastructural development, power distribution, security network, environmental sanitation, among others.
“This day is indeed memorable in the history of democracy at both federal and state levels.
”What we are celebrating today is part of the history of democratisation in Nigeria, which has its basis in the annulment of the June 12 election,” he said.