ABUJA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it remains committed to its
developmental mandate of stimulating access to finance for the real sector, disclosing
that total repayments as of the end of February 2023 under the Anchor Borrowers’
Programme (ABP) stood at N0.503 trillion, representing 52.39 per cent, adding that the
balance of N0.119 trillion was not due for repayment.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Dr. AbdulMumin Isa,
disclosed this in Abuja over the weekend while exchanging views with journalists on the
performance of the ABP, revealing that the Bank had released the sum of N1.079
trillion, as of February 28, 2023, of which N0.960 trillion was due for repayment.
According to him, the CBN ABP had supported about 4.57 million smallholder farmers
at end-February, 2023, who cultivated over 6.02 million hectares of 21 commodities
across the country. He listed the commodities as rice, wheat, cowpea, millet, maize,
cotton, fish, soya bean, poultry, cassava, groundnut, ginger, sorghum, oil palm, cocoa,
sesame, tomato, castor seed, yellow pepper, onions, and cattle/dairy.
Citing statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA), Dr. Isa noted that
the ABP had contributed significantly to the increased national output of focal
commodities, with maize and rice peaking at 12.2 and 9.0 million metric tonnes in 2021
and 2022, respectively. He said the programme had also helped to improve the national
average yield per hectare of these commodities, with productivity per hectare almost
doubling within the eight years of the Programme’s implementation.
While further noting that repayments under the ABP are made through cash or produce
by the beneficiaries, the Acting Spokesperson of the CBN stressed that the outstanding
due balance on loans was still under moratorium due to the COVID-19 forbearance
granted to beneficiaries of the Bank’s interventions in March 2020 and extended to
February 28, 2022.
“It is pertinent to note that the tenor of loans under the ABP is based on the commodity
gestation period. For instance, loans granted to farmers cultivating some perennial
crops could have up to seven-year tenor,” he explained.
Dr. Isa emphasised that the Bank’s interventions, with the core objective of catalysing
the economy’s productive base, have continued to support investments in capital assets
in sectors with high-growth and employment-elastic potential.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria remains committed to its developmental mandate of
stimulating access to finance for the real sector, particularly agriculture, as it continues
to support the Federal Government’s drive for food security and economic growth.
Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to welcome applications from eligible
Nigerian farmers and firms under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme,” he added.