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CBN has disbursed N40bn for agriculture – Sanusi

Lagos—The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N40 billion out of the N200 billion facility it earmarked for commercial agriculture.

Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Governor of the CBN, disclosed this at the second business roundtable of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos on Thursday.

He said that he was not impressed by the level of disbursement, adding that he wanted to see more people accessing the loan.

“The N40 billion is not enough, I want to see more people access the loan,” he said.

Sanusi identified dearth of skilled personnel to package loan proposals for inability of many farmers to access the loans.

“We want a situation where bank personnel and small and medium scale entrepreneurs are properly trained to be able to access the various loan schemes,’’ he said.

“ We have players that are doing very well in business but book keeping for accounting purposes is a big problem,” he said.

CBN governor also identified lack of adequate infrastructure as the bane of real sector development in the country.
He said that the growth of the real sector had been constrained by lack of adequate infrastructure.

Sanusi said that reforms in the banking sector needed to be complemented by reforms in other sectors like power, agriculture as well as the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

He said that there would be multiplier effects on the economy, if the federal government’s N300 billion grant to power sector, N400 billion to agricultural sector and the N200 billion facility to SMEs were well utilised.

Sanusi said that the only way the real sector could grow was when banks granted loans to real sector operators.

The President of LCCI, Mr Femi Deru, said that the major problem associated with the banking sector reform was the severe credit crush and resulting dislocation in the investment environment.

“The banks virtually stopped lending while the credit_driven sectors like the construction industry, real estate, manufacturing were seriously hit ,’’ he said.

Deru said that banks’ excuses that poor infrastructure and risky environment were factors for their inability to lend were not tenable.


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