According to a recent report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the distribution of loans under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) has maintained a downward trend since 2017.
This is despite concerted efforts by the Federal Government to drive investment and growth in the country’s agricultural sector.
The recent report showed that fund distribution under ACGSF declined by approximately 31.62% from N11.90 million allotted in 2017 to N8.14 million in 2019.
The significant decline was also recorded both in terms of the volume and value of loans under the scheme over the period under view. For example, the volume of loans worth N100,000 and below declined by 37.14% from 26,825 in 2017 to 16,862.
In case you missed it
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported CBN’s plan to increase funding in the agricultural sector from 4% to 10% of the entire credit in the banking system. CBN revealed that the country needs to increase its level of bank credit to the agricultural sector by over 50% within the next 4 years to boost food production.
What you should know
The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977 and commenced business in April 1978. Its original share capital and paid-up capital were N100 million and N85.6 million respectively. The Federal Government holds 60% and the Central Bank of Nigeria holds 40% of the shares. The Capital base of the scheme was increased to N3billion in March 2001. The fund guarantees credit facilities extended to farmers by banks, up to 75% of the amount in default net of any security realized.
What this means
This indicates a decrease in the lending portfolio of banks to agriculture due to perceived risk. This has been the trend since the deregulation of the financial system unlike between 1978 and 1989 when the government stipulated lending quotas for banks under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGSF). To reduce the declining trend, several innovations and products were introduced under the scheme such as;
- The Self-Help Group Linkage Banking
- Trust Fund Model
- Interest Draw Back
Why this matters
Given the present regime’s drive to diversify the economy and ensure food sufficiency and security, all hands will now be on deck in achieving this goal.
UK High Commission reopen visa application centres in Nigeria
Days after it was shut down, United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres in the country.
This is coming some days after the high commission had shut down its visa application centres in Victoria Island, Abuja and Lagos over the outbreak of violence arising from #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings. This has led to the loss of lives and destruction and looting of public and private assets across the country.
The disclosure was made by the high commission in a statement through a tweet post on its official Twitter handle.
The high commission, however, noted in its statement, titled, ‘Update on UK visa application centres in Nigeria’ that its centres would not open on Thursday due to the public holiday in Nigeria due to the Eid-El Malaud celebration
The statement from the UK high commission, partly reads, “Our TLS contact visa application centres are now open in Nigeria. Following the recent closures, we are working hard to process all outstanding applications.’’
“We thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please note Thursday, October 29, is a public holiday in Nigeria and our Visa application centres will be closed.”
The reopening of the visa applications centres after they were shut about a week ago is due to the gradual return of peace and order to some of those trouble spots following the intervention of security agents.
The UK high commission had been very critical of the outbreak of violence in the country, especially the shooting of unarmed protesters at Lekki Tollgate by alleged military personnel and asked the government to thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure justice is done.
In its statement, the high commission said, ‘’We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services use restraint as the order is restored. Working with all stakeholders, judicial panels of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes.’’
The judicial panel of enquiry which was set up by the Lagos state government to handle all cases of police brutality in the state have also been mandated to conduct an inquiry into the shooting of unarmed protesters last week.
Amnesty International had said that 12 people were allegedly shot dead by the police and army at two locations in the incidents shared on social media.
Please see below 👇🏼 for an update on UK Visa Application Centres in Victoria Island, Abuja & Lagos.
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) October 26, 2020
#EndSARS: Three people killed in Ondo state – Commissioner of Police
The Ondo State Police Command has confirmed the death of three persons believed to be two policemen and a civilian.
Following the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, which morphed into a series of violent demonstrations, killings, and lootings nationwide, the Ondo State Police Command has confirmed the death of three persons believed to be two policemen and a civilian.
According to a report on Vanguard, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the state, Mr. Bolaji Salami, revealed this fact while parading 18 suspected looters and arsonists before newsmen in Akure on Tuesday.
What you should know
At the peak of the demonstrations, Nairametrics reported how some suspected hoodlums attacked a correctional centre and set a police station ablaze in Ondo state.
What they are saying
Explaining how the civilian casualty was recorded, Mr Salami said, “The civilian casualty was one of the three-man gang that attempted to rob a new generation bank in Ondo town.”
He noted that criminal elements in the society used the EndSARS protest as a cover-up to execute their sinister motives which range from arson, looting, stealing, armed robbery amongst others.
Expatiating further, he said, “A total of 18 suspects were apprehended in connection with the crimes by the police at different locations of the state.
“Out of the figures, 9 suspects were nabbed for alleged arson, looting, murder, and aiding of detainees’ escape.
“For those who looted our property, burnt our homes, killed our colleagues, denied us the right to decent living, I am glad to say that the law is not sleeping and will take its course on you,” he said.
Lastly, Mr Salami explained that two policemen paid the supreme price while discharging their duties in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area (LGA); and Ondo town, in Ondo East LGA respectively.
Buhari approves free business name registration for 250,000 SMEs
President Buhari has approved free business name registration with the CAC for 250,000 businesses across the nation.
President Muhamadu Buhari has approved free business name registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for 250,000 businesses across the nation.
This was announced on Tuesday evening by the Media aide to the President, Bashir Ahmad.
Pres. @MBuhari has approved free business names’ registration for 250k MSMEs nationwide; according to the CAC, 6,606 names in each of the 34 states, Abuja will have 7,906, Lagos 9,084 & Kano 8,406.
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) October 27, 2020
“President Buhari has approved free business names’ registration for 250k MSMEs nationwide; according to the CAC, 6,606 names in each of the 34 states, Abuja will have 7,906, Lagos 9,084 & Kano 8,406,” he tweeted.
What you should know
This comes after Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the CAC had announced it would begin registering companies within 48 hours, approve names the same day, and ensure 5-day completion for other post-incorporation services not available electronically.
Since the end of the #EndSARS protests, the Federal Government has been working on packages that are perceived as necessary for addressing the issues of large youth unemployment, which is viewed as a catalyst for the massive turnout during the protests.
The National Economic Council (NEC) has set up a committee to meet the needs and demands of Nigerian youths behind the #EndSARS protests. The head of the Committee is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with one of the frameworks being “A social security framework for the youths and Nigerians to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.”
The free business registration coming this period will help businesses that can’t afford the registration fee to get their business registered and timely.