Nigeria privatizes Bank of Agriculture

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Nigeria has privatized its Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and wants farmers to prepare for the purchase of 40 percent shares of the new financial institution.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the privatization would help to create a viable and virile farmers’ Bank like their counterpart in the Netherlands and China.

The minister explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Finance would own 20 percent capital each while the private sector and investors would have 20 percent shares.

According to him, farmers will have 40 percent shares.

“We want to call on all farmers, old and new, male or female everywhere in Nigeria to prepare to buy shares in the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) when the sale opens.

“It is time to join in owning the farmers’ bank.

“Our administration, upon assumption of office, decided to take steps to stabilize, commercialize and partially privatize the Bank of Agriculture so it ceases to be wholly government bank constantly losing money.

“I decided that we needed to restructure the BoA to make it run more efficiently and like similar Banks in Holland and China.

“We proposed this to the National Economic Committee, headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“Thereafter, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) took over and after several months, concluded the work.

“The Bank is expected to have a capital structure of N250 billion.

“CBN will own 20 percent, Ministry of Finance- 20 percent, private sector/corporate groups, including investors, will have 20 percent and farmers will have 40 percent shares.

“Our desire is to create a viable and virile farmers’ Bank as it exists in China and Holland,’’ the minister said.

The Director-General of BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, had said that the privatisation process would be finalized in 90 days.

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