This Day (Lagos)

13 August 2014

Nigeria: N237 Billion Agric Funds Disbursed, Says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday put the cumulative amount of funds disbursed under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) since inception at N236.969 billion.

The CBN stated this in its Development Finance Department (DFD) report on the activities of the business unit as at July. According to the banking sector regulator, the amount was in respect of 313 projects.

The CACS was established to finance large ticket projects along the agricultural value chain. The scheme is being administered at a single digit rate of nine per cent to beneficiaries for a period of seven years, which has been extended to 2025.

The balance on CACS fund as at end of July was N0.169 billion, while balance on CACS repayment account as at end July, 2014 was N3.662 billion.

"No bank was sanctioned for infraction on the CACS guidelines during the month. However, the total penalty charged for infractions, stood at N1.242 billion from inception in 2009 to July, 2014," it added.

The central bank stated that the fund disbursed through 20 banks made up of N199.831 billion from CACS receivable account for 273 projects and N37.138 billion from CACS repayment account.

The report also put funds disbursed under the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as at July 2014 at N29.064 billion. This, the central bank explained in respect of 158 projects.

The NIRSAL is a mechanism designed to provide farmers with affordable financial products and reduce the risk of exposure of financial institutions that lend to the sector. It is also expected to build the capacities of banks to lend to agriculture as well as provide incentives for those that are financing the sector.

According to the report, no Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) was issued during the month. Furthermore, it stated that cumulatively, 46 CRG cover valued N16.280 billion were issued from inception to date.

In addition, it showed that the central bank organised a stakeholders' meeting between Bankers, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) and off-takers (Armajaro, Yero International, Olam, etc) at Akure in the month under review, to anchor financing relationship between the lenders, borrowers and off-takers.

Commenting on the challenges faced during the period, report noted the validity of information provided by counter parties for credit risk guarantee, low public awareness and poor perception of NIRSAL, amongst others. Going forward, the central bank stated that guarantee would be extended only to projects with fixed value chain.

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