Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Bankers’ Committee on the agreement to offer single-digit interest rate of nine percent to operators in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors of the economy.
The Minister described the development as a remarkable progress in government’s efforts towards boosting the agriculture sector.
He noted that the CBN’s move was in compliance with the Presidential directive to lower lending rates to the productive sectors of the economy on which the minister had repeatedly assured Nigerians.
“That the Central Bank considered working with the Bankers’ Committee to finance agriculture from the commercial banks’ huge reserves, running into billions of naira, is a cause for optimism in the agricultural sector.
“This is more so as the single-digit interest rate of nine per cent on long-term credit of a minimum tenor of seven years will support stable agricultural investment and predictable increase in food production.
“The multiplier effect of this initiative at a time of a restructured and recapitalised Bank of Agriculture, BOA, will be a reduction in uncertainties and avoidable risks in agricultural investments where farmers will enjoy wider latitude of access to loans from either commercial banks or BOA with less hassles,” he added.
The single-digit facilities would come from Deposit Money Banks’ cash reserve held by the CBN.