The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that 1,140, 854 farmers have benefitted from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programmes (ABP) since its inception.
The CBN Director of Corporate Communication Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor made this known, weekend, during the CBN Special Day at the 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair, with theme, “Remodeling SMEs Financing Options and Solutions”.
Okorafor who was represented by a deputy director in the CBN communications department, Mrs. Veronica Aqua said the apex bank has 29 intervention programmes targeted at various stakeholder groups, including farmers, women, youth, small and medium enterprises.
The director noted that the Fair’s theme captures the focus and efforts of the CBN towards stimulating economic growth through backward integration and expansion of small and medium enterprises.
According to him, “it is at the heart of what the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele is committed to, by consolidating on the achievements of his first tenure to catalyze the development of small and medium enterprises for sustainable growth”.
Okorafor listed some of the interventions to include; “The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Funds (MSMEDF) designed to channel low interest funds to MSME subsector to enhance access by entrepreneurs, especially women and People Living with Disability (PLWD).
“Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (SMEEIS) an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee and a direct response to the Federal Government’s policy measure for promotion of Small an Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
“The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) designed and launched in 2015 to finance smallholder farmers and create economic linkage between the farmers and commodity processors/millers.
“Others are the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) that commenced in 2009 to fast-track the development of the agricultural sector.
“The bank in 2016 launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) to facilitate an improved access to finance by youths in order to develop their entrepreneur skills.
“The bank also collaborating with the Banks’ Committee, instituted the Agri-business/ Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme AGSMEIS) to improve access to affordable and sustainable finance by agricbusiness and MSMEs.
“The bank and Bankers’ Committee also set up the Creative Industry Financing Initiatives (CIFI) to improve access to long-term, low-interest financing by entrepreneurs and investors in the creative industry and Information Technology (IT) subsector”