CBN Disburses N151bn for Agriculture
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Thursday said that a total of N151.015 billion had been disbursed to 190 beneficiaries under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) as at December 2011.
The apex bank made this known in a report titled: “Activities of the N200 billion CACS for the month of December 2011,” posted on its website. The balance of CACS funds as at now stand was N48.984 billion in the month under review.
According to the banking sector regulator, the beneficiaries were made up of 163 private promoters and 27 state governments, which it said accessed N1 billion each. But the federal capital territory was said to have accessed N16 million only.
It explained: “During the period Delta state government accessed CACS fund. The number of State Governments participating in the Scheme therefore stands at 27. These State governments accessed funds for on-lending to farmers’ unions, co-operatives and financing of other areas of agricultural interventions in their various States.
“Projects monitoring exercise in the states were conducted during the year. During the period under review, the sum of N14 billion was released to nine banks with respect to 14 CACS projects, bringing total releases by the CBN since inception in 2009 to N151.016 billion.”
According to the regulator, from inception, 16 banks, namely: Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, GTBank, Oceanic Bank Plc, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling, Citibank, Wema and Mainstream Bank participated under the Scheme.
The apex bank added: “The analysis of number of projects financed under CACS by value chain showed that out of the 163 CACS private sector sponsored projects; production accounted for 44 per cent and dominated the activities funded while processing accounted for 41.1 per cent. These activities were distantly followed by marketing and storage, which registered 8 per cent and 6.75 per cent respectively.
“With regards to the value of funds released, processing accounted for 55.6 per cent followed by production which accounted for 29.1 per cent of the value of enterprises financed. These were followed by marketing and storage which registered 10.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent.”
The CACS was established by the CBN in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The N200 billion was raised through the issuance of FGN Bond by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in two tranches. Loans made under this scheme are at single digit interest rate subject to a maximum of 9 per cent. The CBN has in the past few years, continued to pursue policies that would stimulate agriculture sector funding, so as to help diversify the country’s revenue base.
The bankers’ committee revealed recently that agriculture lending increased by N212.64 billion as at October last year, representing a 37.6 percent increase over the 2010 figure.
The committee had also indicated that lending to the sector rose by 2.78 percent of total gross lending in the banking sector by October last year, as against the comparable period of the previous year.