CBN has cut down Bills on Wheat, Milk, Rice and Others

CBN has cut down Bills on Wheat, Milk, Rice and Others
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cut down bills on wheat, milk, rice, tomato and sugar in the past five years to $698.6 million. Olatunde Akande, the Personal Assistant to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made this disclosure yesterday at the Special Town Hall Meeting organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Dutse, Jigawa State. Akande said the figure represented almost 50% cut on $1.424 billion incurred on imported foods in 2013. He said some positive impacts had been recorded since government banned the importation of these commodities. And that the figure reduced by 30%, as $971 million was spent importing the commodities.
He disclosed that N160 billion had been disbursed to 850,000 smallholders farmers under the CBN Anchors’ Borrowers Scheme since the program was conceived in November last year, to assist farmers in the cultivation of Rice, Cotton, Maize, Cassava, Groundnut, Sorghum, Cocoa, Palm Oil, Tomato and Soybeans. The theme of the 15th Town Hall meeting, attended by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and his counterparts in Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Trade and Investment (State) Aishat Abubakar, was “Agriculture and Agric Value Chain”. Ogbeh said that in the first year of the CBN Anchors’ Borrowers Program, N294 billion was yielded as turnover by the rice farmers from the initial N40 billion given as loan by the apex bank, adding that the reduction of interest rate on lending to farmers to nine per cent has ignited a revolution in agriculture in the country. Ogbeh said with the reform of the Bank of Agriculture, which will be completed by the end of this year, the government is targeting five percent lending rate to farmers.

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