By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Worried by the lackadaisical approach of farmers and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to intervention funds, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appealed to them to see the loan as instrument meant for them towards growing their businesses.
Speaking at seminar for farmers and SMEs operators in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Senior Manager, Development Finance Department in CBN, Dr. Xavier Okon, told the 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 per cent.
In the same vein, the Deputy Director, Consumer Protection Department in CBN, Hajia Khadijah Kasim, explained that the protection department in CBN is meant 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.