Seven Agricultural firms currently indebted to the tune of N5.6 billion under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP, have been issued final notice to clear the debt.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had on Tuesday issued a final demand notice to affected firms to hasten and pay up the debt, but did not state what action it will take for any further failure.
The directive became imperative following a directive issued by the CBN to NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Limited to recover all non-performing intervention loans.
The loans were granted by NMFB under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the CBN.
NIRSAL MFB said that earlier Demand Notices have been issued by bank to the last known addresses of the aforesaid Customers, adding that the Public Notice serves as the final demand notice.
The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 and is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the process of selecting key agricultural commodities and small holder farmers.
The focus of ABP is to provide seed to farmers and cash to grow the crops. This will help to boost production of the select commodities and make sure there is constant supply of the commodities to the agro processors.
The programme targets farmers who produce cereals (Rice, Maize, wheat etc.); Roots and Tubers (Cassava, Potatoes, Yam, Ginger etc.); Tree crops (Oil palm, Cocoa, Rubber etc.); Legumes (Soybean, Sesame seed, Cowpea etc.); Livestock (Fish, Poultry, Ruminants etc.).
Others include: Cotton, Sugarcane, Tomato. The fund given to the farmers are loans. The participating banks, which work with the CBN lend to Anchors at nine per cent per annum for onward disbursement to the farmers.
The loan is repaid by the farmers after the crops have been harvested with the harvested crops which must cover the loan principal and interest.
Over N1trn has been disbursed to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Between April and May this year, the CBN released the sum of N57.91bn under the programme to 185,972 new projects for the cultivation of rice, wheat, and maize.
The beneficiaries are Sadolen Interworld Ltd, with Saidu Audu Adaji and Nura Musa Hassan as promoters with a current exposure of N2.05bn; Gum Arabic Farms and Commodities Ltd, with Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim Babangida as promoters and a current exposure of N1.22bn and Prime Synergy Global Solutions Ltd with Mercy Ikeji and Jennifer Nyesom-Effiong as promoters with an exposure of N1.45bn.
Others are Asuj Food Production and Processing Ltd, with Abubakar Umaru Jibrilla as the promoter with an exposure of N581.41m Souvenire Seeds Nigeria Ltd with
Roseline Omokora as the promoter and an exposure of N158.18m and Con Investment Ltd with Lady Josephine Nwaeze as the promoter with a current exposure of N211.6m.