According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Abeokuta branch, 1779 farmers in Ogun State benefitted from agricultural loans in 2021.
Wahab Oseni, the CBN’s Abeokuta Branch Controller, said this on Wednesday during the Ogun State Award for Best Farmer of the Year, 2021. According to Oseni, the payment was made through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), which was created by Decree No. 20 of 1977 to guarantee credit facilities provided by banks to farmers.
He stated that the loan was intended to increase access to financing in the agricultural sector and that recipients would get 50% of the interest if the loan criteria were satisfied.
He said, “The purpose of the fund is to provide a guarantee for loans granted by lending banks up to 75 percent net of the amount realized on collateral in case of default for agricultural purposes.
“This is aimed at increasing bank credit to the agricultural sector. Through the interest drawback program, the scheme also rewards beneficiaries by giving back 50 percent of the interest paid on loan is fully repaid within the stipulated period.
“The role of farmers in enhancing food security and zero hunger is very pivotal in every nation, and for this, we say a very big thank you to our farmers.
“In 2021, the Development Finance Office, Central Bank of Nigeria Abeokuta guaranteed 1779 loans valued at Seven Hundred and Twenty-Three Million, One Hundred and One Thousand (N723,111,000.00) from three (3) banks, comprising of two micro finance banks and one deposit money bank.
“I wish to state that the winners of today’s award went through a selection committee using some criteria which included adoption of best agricultural practices, record keeping, utilization and timely repayment of loan among others.”
He announced Saka Dolapo as the best farmer of the year 2021 in Ogun State, while Onasanya Babatunde and Abosede Olowonisoro emerged as first and second runners, respectively.
In her address, the Ogun CBN Development Finance Officer, Dr. Oluwakemi Olukoya, while congratulating the awardees, said food security was everybody’s responsibility.