CBN disburses N16.4b to farmers in new agric scheme
MAN admits receiving more forex
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has so far disbursed about N16.4 billion to 78,000 farmers under the recently launched Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme.
The disbursement, which also included the acquisition of hectares of land for farming, saw each of the 78,000 registered farmers receiving about N210,000.
These disclosures were made at the 326th meeting of the Bankers’ Committee – a policy making body for banks, in Lagos, yesterday.
The Director of Banking and Supervision, CBN, Tokunbo Martins, who addressed finance correspondents at the end of the meeting, said that plans are now in top gear to replicate this in other regions, particularly in Ebonyi and Anambra states soon.
She said the committee had resolved to support the anti-corruption effort of the government and the other reforms aimed at bringing stability to the economy.
Martins also disclosed that access to financial services has been made easier and cheaper with the licensing and approval of the super-agents that would distribute banking services at lesser cost, with mandates to reach the most interior communities in the country.
Also, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje, reiterated that the nation’s current challenges with the foreign exchange calls for change in personal habits, allocation of foreign exchange, while investments in import substitution and local production should be encouraged.
He said that the fall in oil prices from $115 to $37 created a supply problem, which requires adjustment in demand and efficient allocation of the available scarce resource.
Speaking on the challenges experienced by manufacturers, the Acting Director of Communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, affirmed that there have been remarkable improvement in access to finance and foreign exchange.
Meanwhile, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, said CBN’s renewed focus on sector has improved the lots of his members, as the foreign exchange allocations have been raised up beyond complain.
According to him, it is commendable that the governor kept to his promise to manufacturers after a meeting with him and can boldly say that it is no longer what it used to be.
Jacobs said that while there are gaps left in the sector’s demand, the response by CBN in prioritising and increasing foreign exchange allocation to manufacturers is now keeping them engaged and productive.
The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, assured that CBN was still working out the modalities for the disbursement of accumulated funds from the reduced cash reserve requirement (CRR), which banks are eager to commence action on as soon as the directive is released.
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