The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) have commenced repayment of N1.2 billion out of about N3 billion loan it got from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme in the last farming season.
Disclosing this in Daura, Katsina State at a Loan Repayment Program, organized by MAAN, the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Kabiru , said that MAAN had promised an initial payment of N1.2 billion this week.
Recall that the Anchor Borrowers Scheme is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where the Bank (CBN) disburse money to various commercial banks across the country for farmers to access easily as loans.
But for Maize MAAN, the CBN disbursed their money through the Bank of Agriculture, and they (MAAN) numbering over 5 million are allowed to access the fund.
According to Umar, “what we are expecting as initial repayment is N1.2 billion, like the President of MAAN has said which he promised me, by this week, they will make that repayment to the bank.
“MAAN got about N3 billion during the first season. The agreement we have with them is that repayment will be 30 per cent initial repayment, then 40 percent during the second season and then 30 percent during the last season, so with the N1.2 billion they have made promised to repay, we will closely monitor them, we will still support them for the next season”.
In his address, the President of MAAN, Bello Abubakar called on members to ensure they repay their loan else they would be sanctioned.
While calling on banks to continue to support maize farmers, Abubakar called for total ban of maize importation in Nigeria, stressing that the maize farmers in Nigeria can produce enough Maize grains to service local demand.
“This State of the program is very crucial, it is the most important State because the repayment of the loan would set the state of our continued participation due to the trust that we would built with the Bank.
“If Katsina State alone, in fact an area considered not a Maize belt can produce such huge quantity of maize grains, you can imagine what, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi, Saki in Oyo State would have in stock for the maize users.
“It is therefore our prayers that the federal government should ban the importation of maize into the country.
“Banks should also partner with us by making loans available to MAAN members. Also, all Maize users are strongly advised to partner with us for the supply of any type of quantity of maize needed, we assure you that we will meet your needs, we have done it in 2016 through doubling of maize program.
“That there is no enough Maize in the country is not true, we can produce more than enough in our country, let the maize users ask and it shall be produced. I want to call, on all the beneficiaries his program to quickly submit their produce and repay their loan on due, as MAAN will not spare any member who defaulted”, Abubakar noted.