CBN guarantees N131bn loan and challenges farmers to revive $430bn economy

The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, which is managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, has guaranteed 1.232 million loans to farmers across the country.

The monetary value of the loans was estimated at N130.903 billion. The apex bank also challenged farmers to come together to revitalize the country’s $430 billion economy by improving value addition and diversification.

These were the highlights of the National Farmer of the Year 2021 Award Ceremony under the ACGSF which was held in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the Chairman of ACGSF, Mr Stephen Okon, “A total of 1,232,326 loans worth N130.903b have been secured since inception till May 2022, of which 973,646 beneficiaries have repaid a total of N98.91b”.

He noted that the Federal Capital Territory had, from January to May 2022, guaranteed a total of 82 loans under the scheme, valued at N22.580 million.

This, he said, brought the total loans secured in the FCT since the program’s inception in 1978 to May 2022 to 14,258, valued at N1.748 billion.

In terms of loan recovery, Okon said 11,726 loans worth N801.058 million had been repaid under the FCT program since its inception, noting that records showed a high level of commitment from officers. of the FCT as well as the determination of farmers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the program to empower themselves and improve their lot.

“We hope that before long, participants in the FCT agricultural value chain will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the amended law,” he said.

The ACGSF was created by Decree No. 20 of 1977 and started operations in April 1978. It aimed to reduce the risks associated with agricultural loans by providing guarantees to banks lending to the agricultural sector and encouraging loans to the agricultural sector. agriculture to increase its contribution to the development of agriculture. and encourage debtors to adopt good credit behavior that repays in a compliant manner.

Okon further said the disbursement is part of proactive measures to encourage people and cushion the impact of global crises on the economy and support the agricultural sector.

“Truly, the Federal Government, through the ACGSF program as well as other CBN development funding interventions, has continued to promote the nation’s quest to achieve food self-sufficiency,” he noted. .

CBN Abuja Branch Comptroller Michael Onyeka Ogbu said the ceremony was an expression of the apex bank’s management’s commitment to supporting hard work, innovation and productivity in the chain. of agricultural value.

“To this end, the CBN challenges Nigerian farmers to explore our various agricultural interventions aimed at increasing the value addition of their production towards achieving food self-sufficiency, supply of raw materials to our manufacturing industries and also for export, which ultimately helps diversify and improve the foreign exchange earning base of our economy,” he said.

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