The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Malam Sabo Nanono said the Bank of Agriculture was still in distress because no concrete effort was made to recapitalize it in spite of pronouncements in the past.
Nanono disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said it was disheartening to note that a bank established to cater for the needs of Nigerian farmers was distressed and nothing serious was done about it.
According to him, the agricultural sector is a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and as such whatever will help reposition it should not be treated with kids glove.
“The plan was never beyond newspaper publications. I think there was no serious attempt and personally I think that is not the best approach.
“The best approach is to look at it properly and reorganize the bank and reposition it.
” If you are to sell the Bank of Agriculture now, you have to look at some portfolios. Its life assets and dead assets and see the balance between the two.
“Can you afford at that point to go to public, and are you going to privatize it? That means selling it at a go or is it going to be partial investment.
“If the private sector is keying into buying it, obviously they have to look at the portfolio investment of the bank and to me it is not a comfortable position now to go into the financial market for investment,” he said.
The minister pledged his commitment to ensuring that the bank picked up as soon as possible in order to carry out its mandate.
“We are trying to look at it seriously and reposition it. I have already appointed a committee to look into reorganization of the agricultural bank.