The Director of Development Finance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Mudashiru Olaitan, has commended farmers in the north-east for paying the loan granted to them by the bank under its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Olaitan who gave the commendation yesterday in Gombe during the flagged off of repayment of loan and handover of farm produce to Commodity Depot and Exchange Centre (COMDEC) by the North East Commodity Association (NECAS) said it was the first time an association that benefitted under the anchor borrowers programme gathered people to flag off repayment of loan granted by the CBN.
The farmers through NECAS, an umbrella body of farmers in six north-eastern states, were at the beginning of raining season provided with fertilizer, herbicides and seedlings by the CBN through the Bank of Agriculture, with the agreement to pay back with their farm produce after harvest.
Represented by Mr Edwin Nzelu, the director said. “I commended the NECAS because it was unprecedented for an association to gathered people to flag-off collection of repayment, not only just repayment, but paying back into the quantity of 40 per cent of what they have taken,” he said.
Mr Olaitan added that in appreciation of their honesty in repaying the loan granted to them, the development finance department will continue to support NECAS by tripling the facilities that was made available to the farmers in 2018.
The director added that the CBN will work with NECAS in the recovery of the remaining balance of 50 per cent and increase the number of benefitting farmers in order to eliminate poverty in the country.
Also peaking at the ceremony, the National Chairman of NECAS, Alhaji Sadiq Umar Daware, said Gombe state alone were able to recover over 30, 000 bags from farmers in the last two weeks.
“Since we began the recovery of the farm produce in Gombe two weeks ago, we are getting at least 600 bags of maize sorghum, soya beans and cotton from our farmers daily. We are expecting to pay the CBN 40 per cent of the loan granted to us and we can even exceed the 40per cent that we have promised to pay for the first farming cycle,” he said.
The state chairman of NECAS, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Dukku, said on a daily basis the association is receiving about 600 to 700 bags from farmers across the 11 local government areas of the state.
“In Gombe over 8, 000 farmers have benefitted from the programme and they have cultivated and produced these products you are seeing. Farmers have appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government that is why we are willingly bringing back the loan and repayments through this produce you are seeing,” he said.