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CBN to start non-interest loan for farmers, SMEs

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday hinted of plans to integrate non-interest loan window in all its intervention programmes, particularly the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

This is even as it said it budgeted N432 billion to support about 1.1 million farmers in the 2020 wet season farming under its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

The Bank’s Director, Development Finance Department, Yila Yusuf, made these disclosures at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Abuja to review the successes recorded so far under the ABP and the strategies for the 2020 agricultural wet season.

Yusuf, who represented the apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the forum, said: “We are advancing N432 billon, through the banks, to the famers in the 2020 wet season across nine different commodities. The commodities are rice, maize, cotton, oil palm, and cowpea. We are also doing livestock, they are: poultry and fish.”

While projecting that the impact of the investment will be phenomenal, the development finance expert pointed out that the 2020 wet season support represented the largest Anchor Borrowers Programme the bank will be doing since 2015 when the programme was launched.

According to him, the bank is targeting over 1.1 million farmers, farming over 1 million hectares of land as well as a combined output of over nine different commodities of 8.32 million metric tonnes.”

Yusuf projected that the intervention should create about five million jobs down the agro-commodities value chains.

On the planned non-interest loans, he said “the CBN Governor has directed we create a non interest window especially for the North West and the North East. We have received several correspondents from concerned citizens especially on the CIVID-19 funds. In the weeks to come, we will announce a policy on the non-interest loans” he stated.

In his remarks, the apex bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, said the bank in the 2020 agricultural wet season, was committed to aggressively fund its agricultural programmes and spur farmers along select crop value chains to prevent food insecurity in the country.

On the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) of the Bank which aims at alleviating the impact of the corona virus on individuals and small businesses, he restated the bank’s commitment to its disbursement to stimulate Nigeria’s speedy economic recovery.

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