The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has extended its Anchor borrowers scheme for increased rice production to include cassava, cotton and soya beans farmers in Cross River State.
Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele made this known in Calabar while speaking at the CBN fair for farmers and members of the public on the theme: promoting Financial Stability And Economic Development in Nigeria.
According to the CBN governor the scheme which was initiated by the bank to boost rice production in the country and this has achieved success leading to the ban on rice importation by the federal government.
Emefiele who was represented by the director corporate communications Isaac Okoroafor said fifty billion naira would be extended as loan to soya bean farmers, nine billion to cassava farmers and seven billion naira to cotton farmers in the country.
“Anchor Borrowers Scheme is loan to farmers without collateral and the benefitting famers are given farm inputs and cash to cultivate their farms and with the experiment on rice which has achieved huge success it is time to extend the scheme to cotton, soya bean and cassava farmers.”
The CBN governor stated that since he assumed office in 2012, he has initiated programmes tailored at helping the economy grow and bringing the bank closer to the people to help them achieve financial stability and growth by taking advantage of its intervention schemes.
He said the in the past Nigeria sold its oil and used the money to import consumable items making it a consumer economy by importing such items as toothpicks, rice, eggs, palm oil but with the measures he introduced, the federal government has banned the importation of forty- one items and this measure has greatly helped the economy grow.
“The Anchor Borrowers scheme, Small and Medium Enterprises scheme are meant for us to grow what we eat and efforts will continue to be made towards achieving self-sustainability as a country greatly endowed,” he said.
He said loans to the tune of ten million naira was being advanced to artisans, entrepreneurs and small business operators to assist them grow their outfits.
“The CBN has development finance intentions and the banks has provided the funds from their profits to give out as loans to small businesses without collateral but the entire sum cannot be given to the beneficiary but part will be used in procuring the equipment while part will be given as working capital and payment period is spread across seven years.”
Emefiele advised people against abusing the naira by writing or soiling it, hawking and printing counterfeit notes as those caught would be made to serve jail sentences.