500,000 jobs created through Anchor Borrowers Programme – CBN

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By Babajide Komolafe & Elizabeth Adegbesan

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that its Anchor Borrowers Programme has added two million metric tons to rice supply in the country while also creating 500,000 jobs.

Anchor Borrowers Programme

Meanwhile the apex bank has dismissed reports that the country imports up to 400,000 metric tons of rice, stressing that figures obtained from the two leading rice exporting countries to Nigeria show otherwise.

According to the Director of Corporate Communication Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, “The volume of rice importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures obtained from various official sources. Indeed, figures obtained from India and Thailand, which are dominant rice exporters to Nigeria indicate that as at September, the latter had so far exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while the former sold only a paltry 426 tonnes as at July 2018.

Okoroafor attributed the reduction in rice importation to concerted effort of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the interventions of CBN.

He also confirmed that the apex bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year.

He averred that the figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns as well as expected losses from flooding, all of which led to unauthentic conclusions that the country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tonnes.

He further noted that the combined figure of 5, 587 tonnes of rice imports from India and Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.

The Half year 2018 economic report of the apex bank showed that the country has made significant progress in its quest to achieve self sufficiency in rice production. According to the report, the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which was introduced in 2015, has added 2 million metric tons to rice supply across the country.

The ABP was introduced to curb the nation’s food import bill, by boosting domestic production of food crops especially rice and wheat which formed part of four items that consumed a N1 trillion in foreign exchange.

According to the half year 2018 report of the CBN,  the apex bank has so far disbursed N91.90 billion, to  412,037 small-holder farmers since the inception of the programme.

The report stated: “The implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme continued in the review period with the disbursement of N36.37 billion to 155,732 farmers, compared with N12.57 billion to 27 farmers in the first half of 2017. This brought the cumulative disbursements, since inception, to N91.90 billion, with 412,037 small-holder farmers as beneficiaries. The Programme was being implemented in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory through thirteen (13) state government anchors and one hundred and twenty-seven (127) private-led anchors.

“In the review period, the sum of N1.57 billion was repaid, bringing the cumulative repayment since inception to N12.19 billion. The commodities being financed under the Scheme included: rice, maize, wheat, soya beans, cotton, cassava, groundnut, fish and poultry. The Scheme has created over 500,000 jobs and added 2.0 million metric tons to domestic rice supply.

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CBN injects N80bn into agric schemes

Vanguard analysis revealed that the CBN injected N80 billion into three agricultural initiatives in the first half of the year (H1’18). The initiatives are Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS) and the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).

In addition to N36.37 billion disbursed through the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the apex bank also disbursed N4.25 billion through the Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS)  and N39.34 billion was disbursed through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).

The report stated; “Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS)

In the first half of 2018, the sum of N4.25 billion was released to three (3) banks for disbursement to three (3) projects under the Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS). This brought the total disbursement under the Scheme to N30.38 billion at end-June 2018. Also, in the review period, the sum of N13.37 billion was repaid under the Scheme.

“In the review period, the sum of N39.34 billion was disbursed to 16 projects, under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS)  compared with N50.59 billion released to 11 banks for 34 projects in the half year 2017. The cumulative amount disbursed under the CACS since inception in 2009 to end-June 2018 was N560.91 billion to finance 557 projects.

“In the first half of 2018, the sum of N17.01 billion was repaid by fourteen (14) participating banks in respect of 51 projects, compared with N28.83 billion for 191 projects in the corresponding period of 2017. This brought the cumulative repayment from inception to N273.62 billion at end-June 2018.”

The report also showed that the banks granted 10,420 loans worth N1.75 billion to farmers in the first half of the year under the  Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS).

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The reports stated: “In the first half of 2018, a total of 10,420 loans valued at N1.75 billion were guaranteed under the ACGS, compared with 21,073 loan valued at N3.07 billion in the corresponding period of 2017. This indicated 50.6 and 43.0 per cent decline in volume and value guaranteed, respectively. An analysis of the loans guaranteed by purpose showed that: food crops accounted for 7,104 (68.2 percent); livestock, 1,051 (10.1 percent); mixed crops, 383 (3.7 percent); cash crops, 1,230 (11.8 percent); fisheries, 445 (4.3 percent); and ‘others’, 207 (2.0 percent). An analysis by category of borrower showed that: individuals accounted for N1.71 billion, (97.3 percent); informal groups, N26.02 million (1.5 percent); cooperatives, N11.61 million (0.7 percent); and companies, N9.75 million (0.6 percent), compared with N2.98 billion (98.5 percent) for individuals; informal groups, N7.88 million (0.3 percent); cooperatives, N22.50 million (0.7 percent); and companies, N13.90 million (0.5 percent) in the corresponding period of 2017. The cumulative number of loans guaranteed from inception of the Scheme in 1978 to end-June 2018 was 1.11 million, valued at N111.62 billion.

“The sum of N3.05 billion, guaranteed to 17,977 projects, was fully repaid in the review period, compared with N1.84 billion for 11,354 projects, in the corresponding period of 2017. The cumulative repayment from inception to end-June 2018 was N84.52 billion for 876,873 loans.

“During the review period, there were no default claims settled, same as in the corresponding period of 2017. Consequently, the cumulative number of settled claims remained at 17,216, valued at N648.63 million at end-June 2018.”

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