Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has urged farmers to ensure prompt payment of the nine per cent interest borrowed from commercial banks.
This was even as the government praised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the committee of bankers for slashing the interest rate from 25 per cent to 9 per cent to enable farmers get loans.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who dished out the warning at a press briefing in Abuja, on Wednesday, vowed to assist the banks recover loans from farmers at the stipulated time.
Ogbeh’s words, “We also urge all borrowers to strive to repay loans and we, in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture will join hands to ensure that farmers repay loans granted them as there will be no more excuses big under these new conditions, our youths and women and small holders can now access credit to fulfill their dreams.
He added that, “Borrowers are hereby advised to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the loans and utilise funds for the purpose for which it was granted.
“Borrowers will be mandated to make the project and records available for inspection and verification by the CBN.”
The CBN had explained that the “facility is :Tenor- Minimum of seven Years Moratoriums, two Years Moratorium Maximum Amounts 10 Billion per project Interest Rate: All-in Interest Rate of 9 per cent per annum.”
Ogbeh, further expressed optimism that with the nine per cent reduction farmers would use the opportunity to increase food production.
“I see it as the first major step we are taking towards reversing the horrible damage done to Africa by the Structural Adjustment Programme of the mid-eighties,” he added.