The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N948 billion to 4, 478, 381 smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) across the country.
The Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed this in Enugu during the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.
The ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Federal Government through the CBN.
The main aim of the programme is to boost agricultural yields, halt large volumes of food importation and address negative trade balance.
He said that the beneficiaries comprised 648, 052 households and about 130, 000 Small and Medium Enterprises.
“The interventions were executed through the bank’s development finance initiatives,” he said.
He 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.
“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).
“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.
Meanwhile, Nwanisobi said that the smallholder farmers who benefited from the scheme cultivated 5.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, thereby, creating over 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs.
Under the CBN targeted Credit Facility designed to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the director said that the apex bank had disbursed N368.79 billion to 778, 000 beneficiaries.
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 organization 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.