The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday called on financial institutions in Edo State to embrace the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) to address food insecurity in the country.
Jumbo Davis, CBN Benin branch controller made the call during the presentation of best farmer of the year 2020 award to client of LAPO Microfinance Bank and Prosperity Microfinance Bank. Davis pointed out that the scheme would also support the revenue diversification drive of the Federal Government.
The awardee are Osagie Imohimi and Obamwonyi Franklyn, LAPO MfB client and Prosperity Microfinance Bank client, respectively.
The branch controller of the apex bank said the scheme established in 1977 had its original share capital of N100 million increased to N30billion and then to N50 billion.
He said the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria hold a 60.4percent share ratios of the fund.
He commended the awardees for boosting credit in the agricultural sector as well as their relentless efforts in supporting the apex bank’s drive to ensure growth in national food production.
Speaking on behalf of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Oluremi Akande, head, communications and branding disclosed that from January 2012 to December 2020, the bank had disbursed over N27 billion to over 34,000 farmers and agro-allied operators across 34 states in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Akande said for two consecutive years LAPO MfB emerged the best ACGSF microfinance bank in Edo State and in Nigeria.
He also disclosed that the financial institution planned to disburse over N10billion in 2021 to empower over 100,000 farmers to contribute to national economic growth.
While commending the board of the scheme, he assured that the bank would continue to improve people’s lives, economic empowerment of members of low-income households, farmers and owners of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
On his part, Harrison Ewemade, head, credit and marketing department, Prosperity Microfinance Bank, who also commended the CBN for the scheme, said the microfinance bank had so far disbursed over N50 million to over 200 farmers between 2018 and 2020.