The Abeokuta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture says many farmers in Ogun State could not access credit facilities from the Central Bank of Nigeria and other banks because they do not have Certificates of Occupancy.
The chamber, however, urged the state government to devolve power to the local government areas so as to be able to issue Cs of O for agricultural purposes.
The President of ABEOCCIMA, Mr Jare Oyesola, stated this after his inauguration, alongside other members of the chamber’s executive at the 44th Annual General Meeting of the chamber in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Oyesola lamented that efforts to get the loan facility from the CBN failed because most farmers did not have Cs of O to process the funds.
He also attributed what he described as low agricultural production in the state to the current Land Use Act, which he said empowered only the state government to issue Cs of O to landowners.
He said, “The challenge we have with agriculture is land. It is easier to get land in the North than in the South-West. What I’m advocating is that just like the Land Use Decree of 1978 has stated, local governments should be able to give land for agricultural development.
“We know one another in our local government areas, we know the cooperatives in our local government areas; allow local governments to be able to give us C of O.’’
“From my experience, the Central Bank Nigeria and international companies recognise a C of O issued by a local government and they will give farmers loan because it shows the evidence that they are authorised to till that land.
“The CBN in Abeokuta says they don’t disburse the funds given to them by the Federal Government because many farmers don’t have Cs of O. If they have Cs of O, they will be able to access the funds for agricultural value chain development.”