The Federal Government said it is considering discussing with banks, especially the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) to help reduce the lending rate for loans to farmers, preferably to 5 percent. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this recently in Abuja at an interactive session with journalists. This is even as the government praised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers Committee for slashing the interest rate from 25 percent to 9 percent to enable farmers have access to loans, particularly under the Real Sector Support Fund (RSSF). Ogbeh, however, called on farmers to repay their loans as soon as possible. “We also urge all borrowers to strive to repay loans and we, in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, will join hands to ensure that farmers repay loans granted them as there will
no more excuses under these new conditions. Our youths and women and small holders can now access credit to fulfill their dreams and aspiration.” He added that, “borrowers are to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the loans and utilise funds for the purpose for which they are granted.