The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on SMEs to take advantage of opportunities from the bank to boost their businesses, as the apex bank extends a total sum of N66 billion as loans to boost cotton, soya beans, and cassava production in Nigeria.
This call was made by the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, during an enlightenment fair organised by the apex bank for small and medium business owners in Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Okoroafor, who was represented by Veronica Aqua from the bank, urged the business enterprise owners in the state to note that the bank has put in place various intervention initiatives that are aimed at supporting and empowering SMEs.
Breakdown of the loan: The loan is comprised of N50 billion to soya beans farmers, N7 billion to cotton farmers, and N9 billion to be extended to cassava farmers. The aim is to boost the production of these items in Nigeria, thereby discouraging their importation.
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The Central Bank said loans between N100,000 and N10 million have been provided for artisans, entrepreneurs and small business operators to assist them grow their outfits, noting that Nigeria, as a country, in the past used the revenue proceeds from oil to import consumables such as rice, eggs, toothpicks, palm oil, etc. but intervention programmes by the bank had led to the ban on the importation of 43 items.
The Branch Controller of the Central Bank in Akwa Ibom state, Mrs. Ogbomon Paul, while speaking at the event, said:
“Cassava, cotton and soya beans farmers in Cross River State are to benefit from CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme, which was initially initiated for increased rice production“.
“Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme is loan to farmers without collateral and the benefiting farmers are given farm inputs and cash to cultivate their farms and with the experiment on rice which has achieved huge success, it is time to extend the scheme to cotton, soya beans and cassava farmers,” the bank said.
The CBN Governor, since assumption of office, has initiated several programmes aimed at growing the economy of Nigeria and also bring closer to the people schemes to help them achieve financial stability and growth through taking advantage of the bank’s intervention initiatives.