8th October, 2010
The Vice-chancellor, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, Prof. Daniel Vershima Uza, has decried the lack of development of agriculture in the country, blaming the bottlenecks constituted by banks in accessing the Federal Governmentâ€™s N2 billion agricultural loan facility.
Uza who made this observation at the 47th Annual Congress of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA in Makurdi, frowned at the rigid collateral requisite by banks for states and universities of agriculture in assessing the loan.
He explained that his university has since applied for the fund which approval was given but the banks continue to insist that they must deposit their entire subvention before money is released to them.
â€œThis is suicidal. The universities and farmers have continued to suffer fas this laudable scheme is weighed down by high collateral and other exigencies demanded by banks,â€ he lamented.
The university don, who was chairman of the occasion, also expressed disappointment at the alleged fraudulent distribution of fertilizer by the federal and state governments, noting that most times the commodity is sold to absentee farmers while the real commercial farmers do not have access to it.
He therefore urged both arms of government to hand over the distribution and sale of fertilizer for the next three years to the private sector, and advocated for subsidy on agriculture to make for direct funding to the farmers as is the practice in the USA.
While challenging NVMA to turn away from issues of food security to researching, he further called for an increase in quota in universities for those wishing to study veterinary medicine.
National President, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA Dr. Charles Ibe regretted the absence of veterinary hospitals and clinics as well as obsolete veterinary laws and regulation in the country.