FG assists farmers with N300b

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Farmers working on the farm

Eniola Olorundare

The Federal Government has assisted farmers with a whopping sum of N300B while 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer programme.

The president, Muhammadu Buhari, made this known while declaring open the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

He added that alot of programs have been initiated to assist agriculture in Nigeria among of which is the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

He stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria had made more than N300 billion available to over 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities.

He said the commodities included Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland.

“It is on record that 80% of rice consumed in Nigeria is now produced locally,’’ he said.

According to the presidency, the theme of the conference, “Economic Recovery, Inclusion, and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’ was most appropriate, following the global shocks from COVID-19.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said the regulatory body had been working with the Bankers Committee to scale the challenges posed by Covid-19, which include reduction of interest rates on loans, increasing the moratorium for payments, and injecting N3 trillion loans in the private sector.

“We do expect that the pace of inflation will moderate as we approach the harvest season,’’ he added.

He said the N15 trillion infrastructure fund would be inaugurated in Oct. 2021.

According to him, innovations like the Nigeria/International Financial will provide a gateway for capital and investments, and digital currency, e-naira, will enhance inclusion.