OrderPaperToday – A bill to facilitate easier access to credit for agricultural funding has scaled second reading in the senate on Wednesday.

This is just as Senate President, Bukola Saraki stressed the need for Nigeria to take agriculture more seriously in order to diversify the country’s economy.

Speaking against the backdrop of the consideration of a bill to amend Nigeria’s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Senate President stated that with the proper mechanisms in place, agriculture would soon take the driver’s seat in Nigeria’s economic development as it stands to create sustainable employment for young people.

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“This scheme when actualized will ensure that our farmers have access to funds,” Saraki said, stressing that Nigeria would need to also forge a legislative framework to support the actualization of the bill.

“In order to meet long-term financial commitments to our farmers, we need to ensure that we protect the credit financiers and banks that are involved in credit disbursement,” the Senate President said.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Andy Uba (Anambra South).

Speaking on the bill Senator Ben Murray-Bruce stated that it came at a time when many young people do not see farming as an attractive profession.

He called on his colleagues to support the bill, stating that such initiatives were necessary to make agriculture more appealing to young people.

Others who spoke in support of the bill included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who called for a harmonization of Central Bank of Nigeria Schemes with agricultural schemes; Senator Na’Allah, the Deputy Senate Leader, who mentioned that the bill would help address accessibility to loans for farmers; and, Senator Sam Anyanwu (Imo East), who said that the Senate should work to ensure that the funds gets to the farmers.

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