president directs agencies to recover cbn’s n1.1 trillion loan

President Directs Agencies To Recover CBN’s N1.1 Trillion Loan

President Bola Tinubu has given security agencies a critical mission of  recovering a staggering N1.1 trillion in loans from beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrowers’ Loan Scheme by September 18, 2023.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Loan Scheme, initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost agricultural production in Nigeria, is facing a crisis as borrowers are failing to repay their loans on time. 

Out of the N1.1 trillion disbursed by the CBN, only about N546 billion has been repaid, leaving a substantial balance of N577 billion unpaid.

Various groups and entities, including commercial and microfinance banks, state governments, farmers’ associations, individuals, and corporations, are holding onto this substantial sum.

President Tinubu has taken action by instructing security agencies to recover this debt swiftly. He has voiced concern that the failure to retrieve this money could derail the program’s purpose of aiding farmers and ensuring food security.

During a meeting in Abuja, it was revealed that a subsidiary of the CBN and a commercial bank were among those withholding funds meant for farmers. These entities allegedly diverted N255 million, which was intended to support agricultural production.

Some beneficiaries have also refused to repay their loans, citing insufficient returns on their investments and requesting additional time for repayment.

Security agencies have been actively involved in addressing this issue, with many bank officials admitting their involvement in the loan scandal. 

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Efforts are underway to recover the outstanding loans, and some banks have pledged to repay the funds they owe before the September 18 deadline.

Notable groups that participated in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme include the Maize Farmers’ Association, Soya Beans and Cotton Farmers’ Association. 

While progress has been made in repayment, with the Maize Producers Association repaying N23 billion out of a N39 billion loan and Cotton farmers repaying N5 billion out of N14 billion, there is still a substantial amount outstanding.

In response to the presidential order, most spokespersons for the security agencies declined to comment, but emphasized that such directives are not unusual when it comes to matters of national security.

It remains to see whether the agencies can recover the whole loan amount till 18th September or not, as per directions of President Tinubu.

Several banks, state governments, and farmers’ associations are the  borrowers under the ‘Anchor Borrowers’ Loan Scheme.’ 

They have not repaid their loans on time. Consequently the objectives of the scheme, such as supporting agriculture, food security etc. have gone into danger.