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Anchor borrowers’ loan repayment stands at 52.39% – CBN

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that total repayments as of the end of February 2023 under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) now stands at N0.503 trillion, representing 52.39 per cent, adding that the balance of N0.119 trillion was not due for repayment.

The apex bank said it remains committed to its developmental mandate of stimulating access to finance for the real sector.

The acting-director, corporate communications department, Dr. AbdulMumin Isa, disclosed this in Abuja, 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.

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