Recent figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have shown that the apex bank disbursed the sum of N607.87 billion credit to some Deposit Money Banks to fund some 587 agricultural projects.
CBN detailed in its latest economic report for April 2019, that the money was part of its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS). It also stated that the sum of N345.06 billion had been reimbursed by the recipients of the scheme. According to the report;
“At end-April 2019, the total amount released by the CBN under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme to participating banks for disbursement amounted to N607.87bn for 587 projects, while the total amount repaid stood at N345.06bn.”
According to the apex bank, the banks that contributed the largest amount to the recipients of the scheme are; Zenith Bank Plc, UBA Plc, Sterling Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria Limited. The lenders contributed N122.66 billion, N83.06 billion, N72.17 billion and N52.52 billion, respectively.
The CACS, which has about twenty participating banks, is expected to provide the sum of N342.7 million to about 2,022 farmers in April 2019, according to the CBN. The bank said;
“The amount represented an increase of 98 percent and 22.1 percent over the respective levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2018, respectively.”
Analysis by Sectors: Analysis of the guarantee to various sectors in April 2019, shows that food crops had the biggest share with N184.7 million (53.9 percent) guaranteed to 1,217 beneficiaries, followed by livestock with N48.3 million (14.1 percent) guaranteed to 191 beneficiaries.
The sum of N42.6 million (12.4 percent) was guaranteed to mixed crops sub-sector with 329 beneficiaries. Following this are cash crops, fisheries, and some others, receiving N29.8 million (8.7 percent), N26.5 million (7.7 percent) and N10.8 million (3.2 percent), guaranteed to 189,55 and 38 beneficiaries, respectively.
Analysis by States: Twenty five states and the Federal Capital Territory were recipients of the scheme in April 2019. This is followed by Ogun state with N46.6 million (13.6 percent), and Kogi State with N0.6 million (0.2 percent).
Critic’s view: As Nairametrics reported, the CACS was, late last year, termed a failure by critics. However, the CBN cleared out the doubt when it released an evaluation and impact assessment report of the scheme.
With its recent progress, it is safe to say that the project has become a major contributor to the development of the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy.