The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday warned Deposit Money Banks participating in the disbursement of its intervention funds to different critical sectors against charging above the approved nine per cent interest rate.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the warning during an interaction between the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production and young farmers.
The governor assured the young farmers of the CBN’s funding support through their respective banks, and urged them to report any lender that charged them above nine per cent interest on loans guaranteed by the apex bank.
He also assured the young farmers that Development Finance Officers from the CBN were readily available to assist them on how to access credit from the various intervention funds in order to guarantee employment, create wealth and meet the country’s food needs.
Emefiele, according to a statement from the CBN, also urged the young farmers to take advantage of the apex bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme as well as the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
These, he noted, would help to create wealth and reduce the huge level of unemployment in the country.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, assured the youth of the Federal Government’s support in their quest to make legitimate earnings from agriculture.
Ogbeh, who frowned on the spate of importation of goods that could be easily produced in Nigeria, expressed confidence in the ability of the youth to produce agricultural commodities that would earn the country the much-needed foreign exchange.
He also commended the efforts of the CBN governor, who he noted was very concerned about the import bills of the country, particularly as it had to do with rice importation.
In his comment, the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said his administration would partner the CBN and do all within available resources to fund the agricultural sector.