CBN Guarantees N122.6bn Loan To 1.19 Million Farmers
Through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, the Central Bank of Nigeria has guaranteed cumulative loans of N122.63bn to 1,190,970 farmers.
The amount was given to farmers to boost agricultural production within a period of 43 years.
Established in 1977, the scheme in 2020 alone guaranteed a total of 30,267 loans valued at N4.32bn just as the scheme’s scope has been widened to fund all agriculture value chain.
The ACGSF Board Chairman, Mr. Stephen Okon said these on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of 2020 Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund best national farmers awards to recipients.
He said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria both contribute to the Fund in the ratio of 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively with CBN serving as the Managing Agent of the Scheme and the Secretariat of the Fund.
“The Fund encourages Deposit Money Banks to lend to those engaged in agriculture by providing guarantee. It mitigates risks associated with banks’ lending to agriculture; by guaranteeing to pay banks 75 per cent of the net amount in default in accordance with the provisions of the enabling Act.
“The Fund provides guarantee in respect of loans granted by any bank for agricultural purposes with the aim of increasing the level of bank credit to the agricultural sector.
“It is important to state that “Loan” under the Scheme includes advances, overdrafts, and any credit facility.”
He said the ACGSF Act was recently amended and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 24, 2019, adding that the import of the amendment was to increase the share capital of the Fund from N3bn to N50bn.
This, he noted, was to enable it cope with the fast-changing economic environment.
He said the amended Act introduced new strategies aimed at repackaging and repositioning the Scheme for greater effectiveness and efficiency towards re-positioning Nigeria as a self – sufficient food producer.
This, according to him, would help to create millions of jobs, supply key markets across the country and dampening the effects of exchange rate movements on local prices.
On the importance of the award to deserving farmers, the ACGSF Board Chairman said the event was special as it marks the culmination of the ACGSF Board’s efforts over the years to re-introduce the Best Farmers’ Awards.
He added, “The awards are the result of a careful screening and selection process aimed at identifying and rewarding the best Farmers under the scheme at the National and States levels.
“It is also an occasion to recognize and honour the best Participating Financial Institutions for their support in providing loans to farmers under the ACGSF based on the number and value of loans granted and the number of States covered under the scheme.”