A non-profit, non-partisan think tank organisation, Xola Collective, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its intervention programmes.
The group, in a statement issued over the weekend, added that policies and interventions have consistently contributed to the country’s agricultural landscape, thereby changing its narrative.
The think-tank group listed the first-ever rain-fed wheat programme, Anchor Borrowers’ programme, Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), as some of the apex bank’s policies.
Recall that earlier in 2021, the CBN flagged-off the first-ever rain-fed wheat programme in the country, seeking to slash the importation of the food commodity by 60% as well as save $2bn annually in foreign exchange. According to the CBN, the programme will benefit over 150,000 farmers and would be implemented in 15 States of the federation for a start.
The CBN has also set aside over N5.7bn loan to 10,000 farmers to encourage dry season wheat farming in Bauchi State, with 4,500 farmers benefited so far in the state.
Between September and October 2021, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the bank disbursed N43.19bn to support the cultivation of 250,000 hectres of maize, sorghum, soybeans, and rice during the 2021 dry season farming and N5.88bn to finance 6 large-scale agricultural projects under the commercial agricultural agri-business scheme.
As a way of tackling the problem of growing youth unemployment in Nigeria, the CBN recently launched the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme, (TIES), in Abuja.
The apex bank also presented cheques of N5 million each to 6 pioneer beneficiaries of the scheme, in order to help boost their businesses, create employment and contribute to economic growth, adding that the scheme was designed to create a paradigm shift among students and graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria from white-collar jobs towards entrepreneurship development.
The CBN also said it will offer special funding and other strategic support to about 400 selected strategic manufacturing enterprises in the next year under the new real sector intervention scheme, amongst other interventions.
Through the Economic Sustainability Plan, the CBN working with the fiscal authorities injected N3.5 trillion to support households in Nigeria, to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was 4.1% of the nation’s GDP and focused on agric, manufacturing, and healthcare amongst others.
Stakeholders believe that the apex bank’s 37 purpose-driven intervention programmes introduced will continue to boost the nation’s economy.
For the CBN, efforts to sustain economic growth are unending. The bank said it will sustain its intervention policy in critical sectors in 2022.