There were arguments and rancours on Thursday at the Oyo State House of Assembly as the lawmakers approved the request of the state Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to access 7.6 billion naira agricultural loan to boost farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa areas of the state.
This approval was sequel to the letter forwarded by the governor and read by the Speaker, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin at plenary, today, October 10th, 2019.
After heated deliberations by members on the issue, majority of the lawmakers observing that the loan facility should spread across farm settlements in the state, the Speaker finally ruled that the loan would be approved as sent by the governor.
The governor is seeking to access the N7.6 billion naira loan to develop Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements into farm estates in the state.
The two farm settlements, which are located within Ido/Ibarapa federal constituency are to serve as pilot projects which will be used to develop other farm settlements across the state.
In their separate reactions, the deputy Speaker, Hon Abiodun Fadeyi and the Minority Leader, Hon Asimiyu Alarape called for the extension of the loan facility to other areas across the state.
They equally urged the Executive arm of Government in Oyo state to ensure judicious use of the Agricultural loan to enable it achieve the purpose for which it is sought.
Hon. Isiaka Tunde representing Oyo East/ Oyo West constiruency and Hon. Dele Adeola representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju state constituency also expressed their dissatisfaction on concentration on the loan to only two farm settlements within only one federal constituency.
They noted that there is need for Governor Seyi Makinde to spread the scope and usage of the agricultural loan to other zones in the state and not limit it to Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements alone.
But while responding, Speaker Ogundoyin assured that the selected farm settlements to enjoy the loan facility would only serve as pilot projects for the development of other farm settlements.
He added that other states have been enjoying the loan long before the current administration in the state.
He said: “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. 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.
“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.”