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By Barnabas Augustine

Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has flagged off five point one billion naira Adamawa Agribusiness Support (ADAS) Programme Credit Guarantee Scheme in Adamawa State.

Flagging off the programme, Thursday at the Banquet Hall Government House Yola, Governor Fintiri said that the ADAS Programme has been painstakingly designed to take advantage of the tremendous agricultural potentials of the state for the socio-economic development of the people and the growth of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Government.

The Governor stated that agriculture is mainstay economy of the state, with fertile agricultural land, huge livestock, fairly good climate with about five million population. Adding that the agricultural production in the state is widely at subsistence level with low capital investment and largely unorganized marketing.

He explained that his administration is determined to change the narrative by making the state economically stronger through agriculture which was why the Government employed the service of a consultant that led to the establishment of ADAS Programme.

The Governor stated that the Credit Guarantee Scheme is not free.
"Let me also state that the Credit Guarantee letters that are being issued today are not meant to provide free lunch to the beneficiaries, but a business undertaking that provides security to their respective banks to enable them access credit", Governor Fintiri stressed.
"I understand that this is being implemented in phases, commencing with aggregators and marketers, while gradually expanding to cover primary agricultural production and even non-agricultural Credit Guarantee".

Governor Fintiri lamented the current hardship of the people which he said is the result of the removal of fuel subsidy and the war in Ukrain. He called on those that are given responsibility to distribute palliatives to the masses to be just while assuring that his administration will continue to rollout palliative until it overcome the temporary hardship.
He said that the hardship has taught the people lesson to take agriculture seriously.
"One of the lessons that the hardship has taught us is that we must increasingly take agriculture seriously. This would enhance food security, improve family income, strengthen our economy and take our state resilient", Governor Fintiri concluded.
Disclosing some of the development the ADAS Programme brought to the state, the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Barr. Awwal D. Tukur said that in 2021 the total collection from produce sales tax and livestock trade fees in the State was N47.6 million, adding that between September and December 2022 the ADAS Programme recorded a cumulative collection of N355.4 million. He said this year, N663.3 million has been collected till August 2023. Making the total Agribusiness collections between September 2022 and August 2023 to surpass N1 billion (N1.018,653,632).

On his part, the Principal Consultant of ADAS Programme, Dr Aminu Buhari said that ADAS is a private sector driven programme that will interface with the government to create and perpetuate institutional and markets reforms, design and manage enablers that will attract a substantial level of investment and positively impact on the state's economy through the creation of Agribusiness Guarantee Scheme.

He highlighted the achievements of ADAS Programme to include re-engineering of the state's finances by liquidating the more expensive short term commercial loans previously used to finance infrasturactural development projects and replacing them with cheaper long term financing abstained from the capital market.

In the achievements, he also said that the State was able to obtained an Investment Grade from Capital Market; upgraded 12 markets across the senatorial zones; increase the total IGR of the State from N6.2 billion in 2018 to N13.2 billion in 2022; created over 2,000 direct and indirect jobs among others.

Dr Buhari explained that the aim of the Credit Guarantee Scheme is to provide liquidity and service needs of the producers, aggregators and processors that would propel them upgrade their production capacities and skill to strengthen their linkage with the market.
And, the cardinal objectives are to improve access to loans for beneficiaries who would like to offtake farm produce in the State without collateral; reduce credit risk on lending to agribusiness by providing guarantees to participating financial institutions which will stimulate lower interest rates on loans by promoting flexible collateral requirements by participating financial institutions as well as broaden and deepen the offtake of the target value chains which in turn increase the state revenue.

Speaking on behalf of the intending beneficiaries, the Secretary Grain Markets in Adamawa State, Malam Dauda Mohammed lauded Governor Fintiri for bringing credit guarantee scheme to their door steps. He said that with the coming of ADAS Programme their markets are witnessing  growth with access of capital to expand their businesses.

He assured that the marketers will pay their revenue promptly having they understood the benefit associated with the programme.

Highlight of the occasion was presentation of Credit Guarantee Scheme letters to marketers in the state.

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