CBN Governor lauds Fidelity Bank as it finances ultra-modern rice mill

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele joined the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe and others including governors to commission a 400 metric tons per day mega rice mill in Kano constructed by Gerawa Group of Companies.

Speaking at the commissioning of the mill and the foundation laying of additional 560 metric tons rice mill, the CBN Governor stated that before 2015 Nigeria had less than 10 functional integrated rice mills with a combined capacity less than 350,000 metric tons.

He said with the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the statistic has grown to over 60 integrated mills with a combined capacity of over 3 million metric tons.

Emefiele disclosed there are about 10 new integrated mills scheduled to be commissioned this year, emphasising that the growing number of integrated mills have been complemented by hundreds of small-scale mills located across the states of the federation in an effort towards boosting the nation’s food security.

He explained that the private sector investment that has been unlocked in the establishment of these rice mills are testimony of the conducive environment created in the rice value chain through the CBN-led initiatives and stakeholders’ cooperation.

Onyeali-Ikpe represented by the Executive Director, Northern Businesses, Hassan Imam, said, “At Fidelity Bank, we are known for facilitating transactions such as this where the impact is phenomenal and often on a national scale.

“We are pleased to be associated with this project because of its potential to not only improve the lives of many small-holder farmers in Jigawa, Kano and environs but to also develop the country’s rice value chain and ensure food security.”

Onyeali-Ikpe disclosed that the bank has facilitated the disbursement of over N34 billion in direct credit to players in the value chain.

“Our interventions have helped to unlock financing opportunities for many paddy rice farmers with significant contribution to the expansion of national paddy rice output.

“This has created a positive ripple effect in the rural communities by way of farmer empowerment and employment generation. This is also in alignment with the business sustainability drive of our business,” she explained.

Chairman, Gerawa Group of Companies, Alhaji Isa Muhammed Gerawa said the establishment of the rice mill was a testimony of the efficacy of the federal government’s agricultural development policies in encouraging farming and other related activities with support from the CBN.

Gerawa added that the intended 560 metric tons capacity rice mill will be completed in November 2022.

The occasion was graced by Governors of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, captains of industries and heads of corporate organizations.

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