CBN To Increase Agric Loans By 6%

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to increase banking sector credit to agric sector from the current 4% to 10 per cent by 2024.

To this end, the apex bank charged commercial banks to increase their role in the economic recovery of the country.

Speaking at Bankers Committee summit at the weekend, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele said the year 2021 will be a year of massive global recovery and that Nigeria must not be left out, adding that, the banking sector must be part of the recovery process.

“The banking industry must be there either by moral suasion or by force. We have to participate in this journey,” he said.

Noting that agriculture sector was a key driver in taking Nigerian economy away from negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2020, Emefiele said, “It is important that we not only sustain measures aimed at increasing productivity of the sector, but also ensure that we continue to produce items that can be produced locally rather than resorting to imports of these items.

“More importantly our agricultural sector also offers significant opportunity for the nation to earn foreign exchange through the export of processed agricultural products. Over the next three years, we will continue to encourage the banking sector to increase its loans to the agriculture sector from four per cent to 10 percent by 2024.

“The CBN in 2021 would seek to encourage banks and other financial institutions to leverage ICT in improving penetration of financial services to households and SMEs, while supporting productivity across key sectors in the economy.”

In 2021, he stressed, it is imperative that the CBN continue to provide accommodative monetary policy measures that will enable faster recovery of the economy, through improved flow of credit to households and businesses in key sectors of the economy such as agriculture, ICT and manufacturing.

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