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CBN disburses N948bn to smallholder farmers nationwide

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CBN disburses N948bn to smallholder farmers nationwideThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N948 billion to 4,478,381 small farmers under the Anchor Borrower Program (ABP) across the country.

CBN Corporate Communications Department Director Mr. Osita Nwanisobi revealed this on Friday in Enugu during the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that the ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Government through the CBN.

The main objective of the program is to boost agricultural yields, stop large volumes of food imports and address the negative trade balance.

Meanwhile, Nwanisobi said that small farmers who benefited from the scheme cultivated 5.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, thus creating more than 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs.

Under the CBN Specific Line of Credit designed to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic, the director said that the main bank had disbursed N368.79 billion to 778,000 beneficiaries.

CBN disburses N948bn to smallholder farmers nationwide

He said that the beneficiaries were 648,052 households and about 130,000 Small and Medium Enterprises.

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

Nwanisobi said the CBN did this through its development role enshrined in the CBN Act of 2007 (as amended) which drove policy and financial support for some 40 interventions.

He said that the interventions were implemented through the initiatives of the bank’s development office.

He mentioned some of the initiatives to include the RSSF, the Investment Regime in Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises and the Non-Oil Export Stimulus Facility, among others.

Earlier, the chairman of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce for 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 banking supervision.

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

“Ponzi schemes seem to have a way of circumventing the organization until it has done enormous official damage to people and the economy,” he said.

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

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