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Don’t charge more than one digit interest rate on intervention funds, CBN warns banks

For fear of playing a fast game on Nigerians willing to access capital from the federal government’s intervention fund coming on stream very soon, the apex bank has warned participating commercial banks not to charge interest rates beyond one digit.

The warning was handed down by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, saying Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in the country shall not attempt to charge double-digit interest rate on intervention funds guaranteed by the CBN.

Added to this pilot scheme to farmers, there are other intervention funds by the CBN in the agricultural sector including Agricultural Credit Support Scheme, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.A statement by the CBN acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor on Wednesday, Emefiele gave the warning in Abeokuta, Ogun during an interaction between the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production and young farmers at the Owowo Model Farm Estate.

Emefiele assured the young farmers of the CBN funding support through their respective PFIs.

The high point of the deal is the empowerment of the participants to alert the CBN at the moment they suspect any move to overcharge above 9 per cent interest on the loans.

He assured them that development finance officers of CBN were available to assist them on how to access credit from its various intervention funds to create wealth and meet the country’s food needs.

The governor advised the young farmers to take advantage of the Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to create wealth.

Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh assured the youth that the Federal Government would support their quests to make legitimate earnings from agriculture.