Of Jude Chinedu and Chidubem IkechukwuEnugu
The The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claims to have disbursed a total of 368,519,000 to farmers in Enugu State under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGSF) in 2021.
Disbursement was made through six commercial and microfinance banks operating in the state.
State Bank Branch Comptroller Mr. Chiedozie Okonjo who made it known during the 2021 Best Farmer and Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) awards said on Friday that ACGSF was established in 1977 to encourage banks to increase lending to the agricultural sector. .
He said the scheme guarantees 75% of the amount in default to lending financial institutions as an incentive, while borrowers are also entitled to an interest refund of 40% of the total accrued interest paid when are paid within the stipulated time. “The program aims to reduce the difficulties faced by farmers in accessing credit for activities along the value chain by reducing the risk exposure of participating banks.
“It was also to encourage banks to strengthen lending to the sector by providing collateral cover for loans made by banks for agricultural purposes.” On his part, the Head of the Development Finance Office, Mr. Linus Nwokolo, pleaded with the state financial institutions to take advantage of the ACGSF scheme. “I would like to thank all the microfinance banks who have contributed to this success. What you have contributed is noted and in due time you will receive your reward.
“Advocated with other financial institutions in the state to take advantage of the credit program. I passionately call on all banks to actively participate because at the end of the day we are helping the banks and helping the farmers.
At the awards ceremony, Kenechukwu Microfinance Bank was crowned the best PFI of the year, while Umuchinemerem Bank and LAPO Microfinance were ranked first and second runners-up respectively.
In addition, Mr. Matthew Agbo scooped the best farmer award, while Ogbodo Ngozi and Charles Eneje came out as first and second runners-up respectively.