…to fast track development of agriculture
By Oluwaseun Sonde and Funmi Oduola, Abuja.
The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has favoured 1,140,854 farmers on its agricultural commodities scheme and created 1,132,260 jobs along the various agricultural value chain so as to fast track the development of the agricultural sector.
The statement was made during the ‘CBN special day’ by the director, corporate communications department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Isaac Okorafor at the 2019 Abuja international trade fair held on Thursday.
Represented by the Deputy director of corporate communications, Mrs Aqua, adding that the intervention programme is the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), designed for the commodity processors with the total of 225 private and 14 State Government anchors had participated in the scheme as at June 2019 in addition to 1,140,854 farmers producing 17 different agricultural commodities had benefited from the scheme with a view to increasing production and enhancing capacity utilisation in agro processing industry.
He said the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) that commenced in 2009 to fast track the development of the agricultural sector which has provided 1,132,260 jobs along agricultural value chains so far been created and capacity utilisation of the agro allied companies increased.
He further emphasised the role of youth group in the overall development of the economy, the bank in 2006, launched the Youth Development Programme (YEDP) to facilitate an improved access to finance by youth in order to develop their entrepreneur skills, stimulate job creation through the development of SMEs among youths, harness the entrepreneurial capacity of the youths and increase the contribution of the non oil sector GDP.
“ Recently the bank also collaborating with the bankers committee, instituted the Agri business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) to improve access to affordable and sustainable finance by agribusiness and MSMEs, create employment opportunities, boost the managerial capacity agribusiness and MSMEs in line with Federal Government’s agenda to develop the real sector and promote growth.
“This year, the CBN and the Bankers Committee equally set up the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to improve access to long term, low interest financing by entrepreneurs, investors in the creative industry and information technology (IT) subsectors part of efforts to boost job creation in Nigeria especially among the youth” he said.
He noted that this year theme largely captures the focus and deliberate efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) towards stimulating economic growth through backward integration and expansion of small and medium enterprises which are the engine of growth.
“ In the heart of what the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele is committed to, by consolidating on the achievement of his first tenure to catalyze the development of small and medium enterprises for sustainable growth.
“Currently the bank has twenty nine intervention programmes targeted at various shareholders groups such as farmers, women, youth, small and medium enterprises which has contributed significantly in driving Nigeria’s economic growth and development” he said.
He concluded that CBN under the leadership of Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele will continue to deliver its mandates of ensuring monetary and price stability as well as developmental interventions especially in areas of SMEs financing for sustainable economic growth and development