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CBN: Agric Sector Interventions Geared Towards Food Security - Health - Nairaland

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CBN: Agric Sector Interventions Geared Towards Food Security by Andromache: 8:28am On Jun 18, 2021
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said its various development finance interventions in the agriculture sector are meant to guarantee food security.
CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said during an interview at the CBN two-day fair in Lagos at the weekend, that all central bank’s interventions were also geared towards supporting the federal government’s quest to diversify the economy.
“If as a nation we cannot feed ourselves, then there is a major problem. Once we don’t have food security in this nation, it becomes a problem. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we saw countries imposing some forms of export restrictions and you begin to wonder that if we didn’t champion the rice revolution in Nigeria, what would have happened? That is why we need to look inwards for the things that we need.
“We keep rolling out these interventions because of what I call the failure of the market. If you allow the market to determine credit allocation, certain sectors such as agriculture, SMEs, may suffer and that was why the central bank stepped in,” he stated.
He added that when Mr. Godwin Emefiele assumed duty in June 2014 as CBN governor, he had pledged to build a people-centred central bank, stressing that the interventions of the bank cuts across all the strata and they addressed Nigerians’ needs.
He said: “You have the targeted credit facility, which came in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a means of mitigating the adverse impact on families, households and SMEs. This is the first time you are seeing interventions and facilities where nobody asked you to bring collateral.
“That is because we understand that the young graduate that just came out from the university doesn’t have collateral or landed property to bring. So, you now use that intervention to empower them to start something and by doing that you stimulate the economy.
“If you look at the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) as well, it also speaks to the young generation who don’t have collateral and don’t have what it takes to access the normal traditional loans from the banks. They go to NIRSAL MFB and nobody asks them for collateral.”
According to him, the National Collateral Registry was introduced to ease access to credit for Nigerians.
He also said that the CBN Fair was to create a platform to interact with stakeholders, to explain some of the CBN’s policies, interventions and programmes as well as to elicit responses from them.

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