The Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson wants the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Plc (NIRSAL) to partner with his government to expand the frontiers of the agricultural investments his administration has made in the last six years.
He said, it is by so doing that, the Government can conveniently create wealth and employ the teeming Youths to bring about optimal return to the political economy of Bayelsa State.
Dickson said NIRSAL by law and operation, is best positioned to help drive the government's agricultural investments, reduce credit risks, increase lending and of course, and provide off takers on such investments.
According to a statement signed by the Governor's Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, Governor Dickson spoke on Friday in Abuja, when he held preliminary discussions with NIRSAL Managing Director, Aliyu Abdulhameed in his office.
Dickson Commended the Federal Government and particularly the Central Bank of Nigreria, CBN for the initiative of establishing NIRSAL.
He said there has been a silent people-oriented revolution in the state in the last six years.
According to him, he is in politics to serve the people, stressing that Politics must deliver development, and promote prosperity and not underdevelopment.
He said: "In Bayelsa, there is a silent revolution in all critical sectors such as the agricultural sector for public good. We now have the best public schools and health institutions. Now, I want to create wealth using Poultry, Commercial Cassava Plant Farm, Agriculture etc. for we must create wealth and gainfully employ our teeming population and what best way to achieve that than through Agro-business. That is why we are building Aqua culture Villages: now we have already completed one in Igbogene with 500-Fish Ponds. The whole idea is to use Agriculture to make our Youths become skilled and empowered. We want to replicate the Aquaculture Village in the 8 LGs of Bayelsa."
The Governor said, Bayelsa is the world's best kept investment secret and called on investors to take advantage of the investment-friendly Bayelsa environment to unveil it.
He, therefore, used the opportunity of his visit to market the potentials of Bayelsa State in rice, cassava and palm plantation, adding that, they will do well on Bayelsa land, even without applying fertilizer to the soil.
He also called on NIRSAL to provide technical assistance and help to access finance to support more Agro-business in the state, especially in Palm, Poultry etc.
In his remarks, the NIRSAL MD, Aliyu Abdulhameed thanked the Governor for the visit and commended him for the massive investment in Agriculture.
He also commended Dickson for his full grasp of financing, investment nuances and templates.
The NIRSAL boss also said, his organization came out of CBN, as a unit to be a public company courtesy of the ingenuity of the CBN Governor.
He said NIRSAL is alive to its responsibility of driving the financing of Agro-business and promised to partner with the Bayelsa State Government on the investments enumerated by the Governor.
He said: "We were created to drive agricultural business. We are designed to search for and convince financiers to invest in agriculture, provide guarantee for projects to succeed across the country and we are ready to partner with Bayelsa State especially now that the state government has invested so much on agriculture. Aquaculture is one of the quickest turn around businesses in our country. We shall help get financiers to invest more in Bayelsa as well as provide markets for the investments through the off takers! "
NIRSAL will hold an executive technical section with the Bayelsa State Government in Yenagoa by April to sign off.
Dr. Rogers Obubo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agric Financing accompanied the Governor on the visit.