CBN to Banks: lend more to MSMEs sector to boost the country’s economy

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[Abuja]–The Central Bank of Nigeria has advised banks and other financial institutions to diversify their portfolios and lend more to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele,gave this advice at the three-day training programme by Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) on, “Movable Asset Lending for Financial Institutions in Nigeria”, adding that the advice  came in recognition of SMEs as the backbone of the economy.

He said that access to finance is essential for private sector growth and development in any economy and remains a major constraint to all developing economies like Nigeria.

Emefiele, who was represented by the Registrar, National Collateral Registry (NCR), Mainasara Muhammad, said that in addressing this financing gap, the CBN collaborated with the World Bank/International Finance Corporation (IFC) Group, to establish the Secured Transactions and National Collateral Registry.

The registry, he said, will improve access to finance for MSMEs while maintaining a strong prudent lending policy and promote Sound Financial System in Nigeria.

In the mean time, farmers who borrowed money under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have commenced repayment, with no less than N8.3 billion already paid into the bank’s coffers.

By the details of the loan disbursement and repayment obtained from the apex bank, as at March 31, the sum of N33.34 billion had been released through 12 participating finance institutions to 146,557 farmers across 21 states, cultivating over 180,018 hectres of land.

Out of the amount released, about N15.137 billion was disbursed to 73,941 farmers in Kebbi State, but now due and repayment is ongoing, with N7.119 billion representing 47 per cent already returned.

On the other hand, the balance of N18.203 billion 12-month tenor loans to other 20 states for two cropping seasons – wet and dry is yet to be due for repayment.

However, farmers in those benefiting states have also commenced the repayment to the tune of N1.238 billion, which is already with the CBN.

While efforts are currently being made by the participating state governments to ensure that all outstanding loans are repaid, the move is to enable CBN extend similar gestures to farmers in other states which have indicated interest in the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

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