REENGAGING RURAL BANKING SCHEME IN NIGERIA: A PERSPECTIVE ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN BENUE STATE, 1970s-2016

Thaddeus T. Ityonzughul, Ph.D

Abstract


There is a plethora of studies that exist on the phenomena of Rural Banking (RB) and economic activities in Benue State and Nigeria on a broader perspective. These studies discuss how RB gave impetus to the economic activities but only one has focused on the aspect of agriculture. In this wise, this study adds to the existing scanty literature on the subject. It centres on the Rural Banking Scheme (RBS) and agricultural production in the Benue State of Nigeria. It traces the historical trajectories and rationale of the scheme under study. The paper identifies three banks that formed the components of the Rural Banking Scheme with specific emphasis on Peoples’ Bank of Nigeria (PBN), Community Bank (CB), and the Bank of Agriculture (BOA). But to enhance an indepth analysis of the issues under review, the study limited itself to the PBN and BOA because; these banks contributed more than the CB to agricultural development in Benue State.The paper investigates the historical foundations of each of the component banks stating its objectives. The study examines how each of these banks positively affected agricultural production in the focal area. The challenges that accompanied the aforementioned banks in their quest for agricultural production are also brought under consideration. From the issues raised and discussed, the study concludes that, due to the challenges associated with the RBS, their impact in Benue State is marginally felt. The discussion of this paper is based on the interdisciplinary methodology in line with the use of both primary sources (oral sources) and secondary sources (extant literature) of data for collaborative analysis and objectivity.

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