By Babajide Komolafe
AGAINST the backdrop of low level of disbursement Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has called on farmers and operators of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to approach banks and demand for loans from any of its various intervention funds.
Speaking at seminar for farmers and SMEs operators in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Senior Manager, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr. Xavier Okon, explained to participants that the apex bank helps to solve the problems most businesses face in Nigeria especially that of long-term financing needs which commercial banks cannot meet because their funds are mainly short term in nature.
Some of the participants complained about difficulties in accessing loans as well as high cost of borrowing, including other bottlenecks. Okon, however, told them to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), as well as the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme which offers some guarantees and an interest rate of 9.0 percent.
Deputy Director, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, Hajia Khadijah Kasim, at the seminar which was part of a financial inclusion fair organised by CBN to enlighten the public and attract more people into the formal financial sector, also advised participants to approach any bank and demand for loan as a right from any of the CBN intervention funds as long as they fulfill the conditions, and it will be given to them.