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Banks to improve lending to agriculture to 10%- CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said deposit money banks should increase credit facilities to the agriculture sector to better stimulate growth and further economic productivity.
The CBN said it is important to support growth in sectors that have significant growth potential and can improve the nation’s resilience in the face of external shocks.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said the banking sector should strive on how to improve loans from 4 percent to 10 percent for the agriculture sector in the next four years.
The governor said “It is imperative from an economic as well as a security perspective, that our banking and financial system works to support growth in sectors that have significant growth potential, and can enhance the resilience of the Nigerian economy, in the face of external shocks.
“Over the next 4 years, the banking sector should consider ways under which it could increase its loans to the agriculture sector from 4 percent to 10 percent by 2024.
“With declining foreign exchange earnings from crude oil, banks should consider supporting agro processing companies that are export oriented.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a CBN led Infrastructure Company. In partnership with the Africa Finance Corporation and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
“Infra-Corp would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investments that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.
“The Central Bank is seeking to leverage ICT in order to improve access to finance for Nigerians. Improved access to finance through deployment of an inclusive and interoperable payment system would help to reduce the cost of payment services for individuals.
“It is important that we leverage ICT as an enabler for growth in key sectors of the economy. ICT start-ups are emerging to support SMEs, farmers, and in providing quality learning to students affected by the shutdown in schools.”

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