The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to integrate non-interest loans 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 CBN Governor who was able represented by 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.
He 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 COVID-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.
Okorafor reiterated CBN’s commitment to aggressively fund its agricultural programmes this wet season.
Accordingly, he said Emefiele had directed CBN’s Development Finance Department as well as the NIRSAL Micro-Finance Bank (NMFB), to fast-track the approval process for loans, to restore businesses and livelihoods.