• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo


NCP proposes BOA-NIRSAL merger to boost Nigeria’s food security


The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has called for a merger between the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s NIRSAL Microfinance Limited in a bid to enhance Nigeria’s food security.

Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, addressing the second meeting of the NPC in 2024 at the State House, Abuja, highlighted the necessity of repositioning BOA to advance Nigeria’s food security objectives.

“We must reposition BOA to drive Nigeria’s food security,” Vice President Shettima said.

“Let’s appoint highly competent professionals with integrity to oversee the bank. When utilized effectively, it can serve as a catalyst for the transformation of our economy because agriculture is paramount.”

The proposal stems from recommendations put forth by the NCP’s committee on BOA, which identified existing challenges and advocated for prompt resolution.

Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, who chaired the committee, outlined key recommendations, including the immediate reconstitution of the Board of Directors of the Bank to enhance corporate governance and the merger of BOA with the CBN’s NIRSAL Microfinance Limited.

Edun also underscored the proposal to transfer National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) land titles to BOA to reflect in its Balance Sheet, thereby increasing its capital adequacy and facilitating fundraising from institutional investors.

The committee’s report follows a comprehensive review of BOA’s operations and the imperative for reforms to align with the food security objectives of the Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Previous initiatives, such as the 2016 restructuring and recapitalization efforts led by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Federal Ministry of Finance, aimed to strengthen BOA.

Edun stressed the significance of substantial capital injection by shareholders to reinforce the Bank’s financial standing.

The NCP also deliberated proposals for the establishment of an independent system operator from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and a strategy paper for optimizing oil and gas assets.

Chaired by Vice President Shettima, the Council established committees to engage with relevant stakeholders and devise a roadmap for implementation, with a mandate to report back within three weeks.

This initiative underscores the government’s commitment to revitalizing the economy through agriculture and ensuring food security for all Nigerians.