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CBN disburses N864bn to 4.1m farmers cultivating 5.02m hectares

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has so far disbursed N864billion to 4.1 million farmers to cultivate 5.02 million hectares of land under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) since inception in 2015.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele made the revelation while presenting the communiqué from the recently held Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank in Abuja.

Emefiele said that, between September and October alone the apex bank, under the ABP disbursed N43.19billion to support the cultivation of over 250,000 hectares of maize, sorghum, soya beans, and rice in the 2021 dry season.

He added that the CBN also disbursed N5.88billion to finance six large-scale agricultural projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).

“The bank also disbursed the sum of N41.2 billion for the commencement of the brown revolution, a large-scale wheat program to wean us off imports by 35 percent in the first year.

“In addition, the bank disbursed the sum of N261.92 billion for 42 additional projects under the N1 trillion manufacturing intervention. Cumulatively, the bank has disbursed the sum of N1.08 trillion under the Scheme,’’ he said.

The CBN Governor added that the apex bank had also made huge investments to support the country’s health sector.

“As part of its effort to support the resilience of the healthcare sector, the CBN disbursed N5.39 billion to nine healthcare projects under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF).

“ The bank has also cumulatively disbursed the sum of N108.65 billion to hospitals and pharmaceutical industry. Fifty-four of the 117 projects funded were for hospital services,’’ he said.

He said that funding for the health sector had resulted in the establishment of two new Cancer Centers, over 59 MRI and more than 42 CT Scan Centers in Nigeria, within the last 18 months.

Emefiele said that the CBN has also approved funding for entrepreneurship initiatives for the country’s youth population.

“To further promote entrepreneurship development among Nigerian youths, the bank recently approved the implementation of the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).

“The Scheme is designed to create a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria from white-collar jobs towards entrepreneurship development.

“The guidelines for the implementation of the scheme was recently published, as the Bank of Industry is presently partnering with the CBN for the pilot implementation phase,’’ he said.

He said that the CBN was also committing huge resources to support the electricity sector.

“Under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N8.69 billion was disbursed to four Distribution Companies (DisCos) under the scheme’s Phase-0.

“The sum of N47.66 billion has been disbursed so far for the acquisition of 858,026 meters.

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“Also, in furtherance of its intervention in the energy sector, the bank released N27.03 billion to power sector players under the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Payment Assurance Facility (NBET-PAF).

“This is in addition to the N37.69 billion disbursed to eight DisCos recently, under the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2),’’ he said.

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