The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back loans obtained under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to pay back.
Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, of CBN’s Development Finance Department made the appeal on Wednesday in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.
The clinic entitled: “Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain” was organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Federal Government, through CBN, to provide loans (in seedlings and cash) to small holder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, and reduce food import bill toward conservation of foreign reserve.
Ajayi said that majority of farmers in Oyo State, who benefited from the scheme, were yet to repay their loans.
He noted that inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers was threatening the scheme, as it was preventing other farmers from accessing the facility.
“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of success, the failure of farmers to repay the loans however, remains a major setback. “Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back what they consider theirs as citizens.
Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.
In his keynote address, Mr Olasukanmi Olaleye, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, lauded the initiative of GAIN to tackle malnutrition in the country.