BusinessDay

CBN inaugurates N600m GGMAX poultry farm in Kwara

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the University of Ilorin, has inaugurated Unilorin GGMAX integrated commercial poultry farm funded under the CBN Tertiary Institution’s Poultry Revival Scheme (TIPRCS).

Speaking at the official commissioning of the ultra-modern poultry farm located at Amoyo community, Ifelodun local government area of Kwara State, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele said the Nigerian poultry sub-sector was a trillion naira industry with a huge potential for individuals and national socio-economic development.

According to him, with over 180 million birds under intensive, semi-intensive and extensive production systems, the poultry would provide affordable and broadly acceptable meat and eggs to meet national protein needs.

Emefiele, represented by Edwin Nzelu, deputy director, of CBN’s agricultural credit guarantees scheme fund, noted that in spite of Nigeria being the largest producer of eggs and the second largest producer of chicken meat in Africa, the demand gap for eggs and meat outstrips current supply by 1.2 million metric tonnes and 140,000 metric tonnes for meat and eggs respectively.

“Over the years, this demand gap has driven the smuggling of unhealthy frozen chicken into the country. To close this gap, the CBN has introduced various intervention schemes focused on boosting poultry production, creating decent jobs, and fostering innovation in the poultry sub-sector.

“One of such schemes is the Tertiary Institutions Poultry Revival Scheme that was conceptualised specifically for tertiary institutions to design and implement viable poultry projects.

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“Today we witness the commissioning of the first project to be funded and completed through the scheme. It is certain that the laudable objectives of the scheme including improving the revenue of tertiary institutions, employment creation and enhancing research into poultry by tertiary institutions are already being realised.

“The 0.6 billion funding provided through Zenith Bank at a single digit interest rate of 5 percent has led to the construction of broiler and layers pen and cages; procurement of over 50,000.00 birds, feed milling equipment, processing machinery and other ancillary poultry amenities.

“Presently, over 40 tertiary institutions have expressed interest in the scheme through different commercial banks to implement various projects.

“Such deep and broad interest by Nigerian tertiary institutions will definitely culminate in sustainable development of the Nigerian poultry industry. I call on other tertiary institutions to key into the scheme to ensure that the broad-based benefits are realised for all.

Earlier, Sulyman Age Adulkareem, the vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, pointed out that the establishment of the farm was a vision of the governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele.

The professor of engineering said: “The journey has been long and hard for us as a university. The university took a N600m loan from the CBN at a concessionary interest rate of 9 percent (5% for the first one year) and a repayment period of six years, with a moratorium on the repayment of the principal for one year.

“Zenith Bank plc is the participating financial institution (PFI) on this project. Accessing the loan required the university to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the project. The SPV is Unilorin Bizface Synergy Limited, a limited liability company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Also speaking at the event, the Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, represented by the commissioner for communication, Towoju Olabode, commended the university for the giant stride, saying the state government would continue to provide conducive environment for business to thrive.