In fulfilment of its resolve to diversify the economy, create jobs and engender inclusive economic growth in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched an intervention programme aimed at reviving the comatose poultry sub-sector in the country.
Announcing the latest efforts of the Bank on Monday, July 8, 2019, at an event in the Head office, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the Bank had selected various institutions across the country that would form the pilot team to be used in running the University-based Poultry Revival Programme.
The programme, according to Emefiele, who was represented by his Deputy in charge of the Economic Policy, Dr. Joseph Nnanna, will produce chicken meat and eggs in order to reduce importation and close the existing demand and supply gap. He added that it would also raise a new crop of entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in modern poultry production; provide infrastructure that would support the sustainable production of poultry; and reduce pressure for foreign exchange demand through import substitution by local poultry production.
The Governor also disclosed that the Bank had obtained information on the capacity of the institutions selected in terms of their poultry pens, hatcheries, feed mills, size of crop farms and number of tractors for grains production. The Bank also got details of their commercial viability, bankable business plan, including processing facility, as well as all information relevant in enriching their participation in the programme
Emefiele further disclosed that the CBN relied on the University based poultry production model because they had existing infrastructure, experience and human assets to enable production at reduced cost and in a competitive manner. He promised that the Bank would commit considerable human, material, and financial resources in monitoring both the disbursement and utilization of the funds to be released to the institutions, adding that the participating institutions would be required to submit periodic returns on disbursements as well as an analysis of the impact of the fund they receive.
The CBN, according to him, would also undertake regular on and off-site checks to ascertain veracity of the reports received.
Speaking on behalf of the poultry farmers in the country, Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim, who is also the chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), said that poultry farming presented the best in terms of return on investment, adding that the country would not have been talking of job creation if poultry had been given the right attention it deserved. He noted that the sector had faced the challenges of smuggling and lopsided siting of hatcheries, which he said was making it difficult for the movement of day-old chicks across the country.
Several academics from various universities and agricultural research institutes in the country and other professionals in poultry and related fields attended the one-day meeting in Abuja.