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FGN to continue ‘RUFIN’ after its implementation time frame

Agro Nigeria - August 25, 2016

Despite the completion of its 7-year implementation time frame, the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) will continue in all the 12 participating states across the country.
This was made known by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who was represented by his Senior Adviser on International Donor Partners, Appel Auta.
Auta, who was in Lagos for a 2-day media tour to beneficiaries of the programme, said despite the fact that International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would stop financing RUFIN, the programme would continue because of its remarkable impact on rural farmers.
Auta said the reason for the media tour was to assess the impact of the programme on farmers and to ascertain reasons why the program should continue after the 7-year implementation time frame.
In his remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner of Agriculture, Oluwatoyin Suarau, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, said the Lagos State Government has recently approved the extension of RUFIN to two other local governments apart from the existing, Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry. They are Ojo and Ibeju-Lekki.  He noted that this is to ascertain the continuity of the programme if IFAD stops funding it.
On her part, the Deputy National Coordinator RUFIN, Mrs Ufaruna Uneku, explained how the programme has been of great benefit to rural farmers to the extent that some now package their produce for exports. She applauded the farmers for quick return of loans which made her describe farmers as being credible.
The Lagos State Coordinator, RUFIN, Mrs Funmi Bello, also explained that with the programme, farmers have been trained on capacity building, link them to sources of finances, and as a result have been able to expand their level of productivity.
RUFIN is designed to improve the performance of member-based non-bank Rural Finance Institutions to enable them develop sustainable Rural Micro-Finance Institutions in the participating states. The goal of the programme which covers 12 states is to complement on-going agricultural and rural development projects and programmes across the country and also to improve the income, food security and general living conditions of poor rural households, particularly women, youth and the physically challenge.
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