CBN To Consider Ethical Borrowers In N3.5tr Intervention Funds

CBN To Consider Ethical Borrowers In N3.5tr Intervention Funds

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Post Views: 778 Targets N432bn For Rice, Cotton Farmers, Others The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Thursday said a framework is the works to integr...

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Targets N432bn For Rice, Cotton Farmers, Others

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Thursday said a framework is the works to integrate non-interest borrowers across its intervention programmes.

The intervention funds, totaling N3.5tr, which now attract an interest rate of 5%, down from 9% and a one-year moratorium, beginning from March 2020, are part of efforts to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), especially following the economic crunch occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Bank also announced a N432bn funding targeted at the value chains of nine commodities, including rice, cotton and maize, during the 2020 wet season to prevent the country from sliding into a recession, as is now being experienced in some major economies of the world.

These were disclosed by Isaac Okorafor and Yila Yusuf, directors of the CBN’s Corporate Communications and Development Finance Departments, who jointly represented Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, at a stakeholder meeting on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The meeting, according to Okorafor, was to review the successes recorded under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, and strategies for the 2020 agricultural wet season.

The creation of a non-interest window, he said, followed appeals by concerned stakeholders for farmers across the country to also benefit from funding under the non-interest window.

He assured that work had been concluded on the funding policy document which would be issued shortly, outlining how farmers under the category could apply and benefit from the agricultural programmes of the CBN.

Okorafor said the CBN, in the 2020 agricultural wet season, is committed to aggressively fund its agricultural programmes, in its determination to spur farmers along select crop value chains.

Through the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), he stressed that the CBN is working towards alleviating the impact of the corona virus on individuals and small businesses, thereby ensuring that Nigeria does not record consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Emefiele, he continued, has directed the apex bank’s Development Finance Department, and NIRSAL Micro-Finance Bank (NMFB) to fast-track the approval process of loans, a move he stressed was to help restore businesses and livelihoods.

Also speaking, Yusuf said the N432bn would be facilitated through the participating banks targeted at the value chains of nine commodities and over 1.1m farmers cultivating over one million hectares of farmland. The loan is also expected to help produce a collective output of 8.3m metric tons of the targeted commodities.

According to Yusuf, the focus for the 2020 wet season is to ensure the provision of improved seeds to incentivize the farmers to return to their farms.

The CBN, he stressed, adopted the value chain approach across all the commodities to ensure that every player along the entire value chain, from the farmers through to the processors, was financed.

He said the CBN’s funding of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) for the 2020 season was the highest since the inception of the programme in 2015.

This situation, he added, is quite significant considering the successes recorded in the 2019 season that contributed to shielding Nigeria from any food shortage, particularly rice, in the heat of the global lockdown during which some major producing countries of staples, such as rice, closed their silos and halted the export of those produce from the shores of their respective countries.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Presidents of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Alhaji Aminu Goronyo; National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Anibe Achimugu; Maize Association of Nigeria (MAN); Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) – Alhaji Bello Abubakar; and the Maize Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPMAN) – Dr. Edwin Uche, attested to the success of the ABP, which they noted had enhanced the value chains of their respective commodities.

While pledging their support to the continued implementation of the ABP to generate employment and create wealth, the association presidents also promised to ensure that the loans collected by farmers were promptly recovered in order to sustain the programme. 

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