CBN moves to recover unpaid Anchors Borrowers Programme’s N463bn loan

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated a debt collection effort to compel Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) recipients to return the loans they were given.

The campaign will be carried out by the apex bank in collaboration with the Nigerian Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN)

The Federal Government introduced the Anchor Borrowers Program in 2015 to increase agricultural production, reduce food imports, and improve the country’s negative trade balance.

Guidelines for the programme stipulate that upon harvest, benefiting farmers are to repay their loans with produce (which must cover the loan principal and interest) to an anchor, who in turn pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.

However, CBN’s latest record showed that farmers owed N463 billion as of March.

The Head of CBN’s Development and Finance Unit in Gombe, who confirmed the initiative to journalists in Gombe, said the apex bank would collaborate with RIFAN to recover the loans in the state.

He said: “Although the CBN’s schemes also helped with the crash of the price of rice and created jobs as well as boosted Nigeria’s local capacity to meet demand, it is important farmers continue to pay their loans, so as to encourage the government to accommodate more farmers in the programme in 2022.

“The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has made a lot of positive impact on our economy, output and even the national food security system has improved however the loan default could deprive many other farmers.”

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