By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Members of the Oyo State House of Assembly on Thursday approved the request of Governor Seyi Makinde to access N7.6billion loan to upgrade two farm settlement in the state in Akufo and Eruwa to farm estates.
Speaker of the House, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin at the sitting of the House, read the letter by Governor Seyi Makinde requesting the lawmakers to approve the loan .
According to the Speaker while reading the letter, Governor Makinde stated that the ” loan facility is to be accessed from the Central Bank of Nigeria and spent on the two farm settlements, located within Ido/Ibarapa federal constituency.” and that the proposed farm estates are to serve as pilot projects which will be used to develop other farm settlements across the state.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Abiodun Fadeyi and the House Minority Leader, Hon Asimiyu Alarape in their comments on the letter maintained that the loan facility should be extended to other farm settlements in the state instead of only two.
Honourables Fadeyi and Alarape however submitted that the Executive arm of the government in the state should ensure that the agricultural loan is judiciously used only for the purpose it was sought.
Also, Hon Isiaka Tunde (Oyo East/ Oyo West) and Hon Dele Adeola representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju Mr Dele Adeola in their contributiond questioned the selection of two farm settlements from the same Federal constituency (Ibarapa East/Iddo), and that the loan be spread to other parts of the state.
The Speaker of the House , Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin disclosed that the selected farm settlements to enjoy the loan facility are to serve as pilot projects for the development of other farm settlements across the state, as other states in the country have been enjoying the loan long before the current administration in the state.
“Other states have been accessing this agriculture loan facility, especially in the North. But we thank God the state government is ready to work with the federal government and provide counterpart funding to show seriousness in accessing this loan. We know that the CBN and federal government are interested in agricultural development and this is a blessing to Oyo state.”, he said.
The Speaker added, “moreover, our own goal is to develop the state through agriculture. If we decide to spread the money as requested by some lawmakers, we might end up not achieving anything and have abandoned projects. So why have abandoned projects when we can have completed projects that are working and running. These two projects can be the engine room for the other projects. “
According to Honourable Ogundoyin, “we are taking the projects one at a time. If we can achieve two projects out of seven then for the remaining five, we do another two next year and thereafter, then we will be able to make progress.”