News Column

FG, Ifad Increase Support to Rural Financing By N6 Billion

August 11, 2014

Chibuzor Emejor

The Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development [IFAD] have increased financial support to the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) to the tune of N6 billion.

Deputy National Co-ordinator of RUFIN, Uneku Ufaruna, disclosed this on Friday at a meeting on the presentation of the reports on skill gaps/training needs of cooperatives inspectors of the state departments of cooperatives, held in Abuja.

Ufaruna explained that the initial take-off grant from IFAD was $27.2 million for the project, which spans seven years, adding that the implementation of the Federal Government/IFAD project has entered the fifth year with impressive results.

According to her, "As of June this year, access of the poor to rural financial services is to the tune of over N6 billion."

She noted that the programme's main objective was to build rural institutions and enhance access of the rural poor to rural financial services in the selected 36 local government areas and 12 pilot states in Nigeria.

She explained that, prior to the introduction of RUFIN projects, access to rural financing was completely non-existent, and that with the fifth yearly implementation of the projects in the 12 pilot states, and more than 3,000 rural poor have been economically empowered to fend for their families.

The Deputy National Coordinator revealed that the beneficiaries were formed into groups or Cooperatives for easy co-ordination as well as to build their capacities on how to manage the facilities provided to them through IFAD and the counter-part funding from the Federal Government and 12 pilot states.

The 12 pilot States in FG/IFAD programme include Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Edo, Imo, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa, Oyo and Zamfara.

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Source: AllAfrica

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