The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it has recovered N400 billion out of the N600 billion, which it had given out to private sector, and state governments to enhance large scale farming in Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS)
The CBN’s director, Development Finance Department, Mr Philip Yila Yusuf made this known during a one-day virtual seminar with financial journalists and editors.
According to him, the intervention scheme had been successful in loan recovery, noting that the initiative was apt and timely in ensuring food sufficiency in Nigeria, as borders and international trade came to a hold during the peak of COVID-19.
Yusuf said “the CACS, is really to fast track food processing across the entire value chain and this has been our successful intervention. We’ve disbursed over N600billion and over N400billion has been paid back. It was given at nine per cent interest rate, but reduced to five per cent and it has been given to private sector players and also state governments have accessed it for either rice processing mills, cassava processing mills or to do large scale farming.”
Stressing that it was important for Nigeria to be food self-sufficient, he said because of the protectionist mode that a lot of countries are going into, “There’s an opportunity for us to properly diversify into agriculture. So, we need to produce more, especially grains. We need to achieve national food security and we need to be able to start looking at how we can even begin to export for us to be able to earn forex, because there’s already a decline in the major forex inflow we get from oil.
“We really need to start looking at how we can ensure we have food self-sufficiency and also begin to export to earn more foreign exchange.
“Another is across the entire value chain for agriculture, we have significant land that has been unlocked and so we need to ensure we are doing a lot of processing in-country.”