Agriculture

CBN Director Gives Update On N948B Disbursed To 4.478M Smallholder Farmers

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Corporate Communications Director Osita Nwanisobi has given an update on the N948 billion disbursed by the Bank to 4,478,381 smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) across Nigeria.

Mr. Nwanisobi did this on Friday in Enugu during the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.

According to the Nigerian government, the ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Federal Government through the CBN, with the main aim of boosting agricultural yields, halt large volumes of food importation and address negative trade balance.

The director gave a breakdown of the output from the smallholder farmers who benefited from the scheme to include the cultivation of 5.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, which consequently created over 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs.

Mr. Nwanisobi said, under the CBN targeted Credit Facility designed to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic, the apex bank disbursed N368.79 billion to 778, 000 beneficiaries.

The director said that the beneficiaries comprised 648,052 households and about 130,000 Small and Medium Enterprises.

“Specifically, the bank disbursed N1.452 trillion to 337 large real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, services and mining under Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF),” he said.

He also said that the CBN did it through its developmental role as enshrined in the CBN Act 2007 (as amended) led policy and financing support to about 40 interventions.

The director added that the interventions were executed through the bank’s development finance initiatives.

Mr. Nwanisobi mentioned some of the initiatives to include the RSSF, the Agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme and the Non-oil Export Stimulation Facility among others.

Earlier, the President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr Jasper Nduagwuike, applauded the CBN for its various intervention efforts.

Nduagwuike urged the CBN to redouble its efforts in bank supervision.

“There must be a way the CBN will control the activities of fraudsters in the financial circle.

“Ponzi schemes seem to have a way of dodging the organisation until it has wrecked huge financial damage to individuals and the economy,” he said.

The ECCIMA president said that ECCIMA was proud to be associated with the bank.