By Racheal Ishaya
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has warned Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in the country against charging double-digit interest rate on intervention funds guaranteed by the CBN.
According to a statement by the CBN acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor on Wednesday, Emefiele gave the warning in Abeokuta, Ogun.
He did so during an interaction between the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production and young farmers at the Owowo Model Farm Estate.
The governor assured the young farmers of the CBN funding support through their respective PFIs.
Emefele asked them to report any bank that charged above 9 per cent interest on loans guaranteed by the CBN.
He assured them that development finance officers of CBN were available to assist them on how to access credit from its various intervention funds to create wealth and meet the country’s food needs.
The governor advised the young farmers to take advantage of the Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to create wealth.
Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief AuduOgbeh, assured the youth that the Federal Government would support their quests to make legitimate earnings from agriculture.
Ogbeh expressed confidence in the ability of the youth to produce agricultural commodities that would earn the country the much-needed foreign exchange.
He also commended the effort of the CBN governor, who he noted was very concerned about the import bills of the country, particularly as it had to do with rice importation.
Also, Gov. Atiku Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi commended the CBN for its support to revamping agricultural value chains across different crop types.
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun thanked the presidential task force for visiting the state.
He said that his administration would partner with the CBN and do all within available resources to fund the agricultural sector.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Nov. 17, 2015 launched the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Kebbi.
The programme is aimed at upgrading small farmers to commercial farmers, thereby achieving the trio objective of stimulating the needed capacity to meet the nation’s increasing food needs.
Some of the intervention fund by the CBN in the agricultural sector include Agricultural Credit Support Scheme, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.