CBN Recovers =N=50bn Excess Charges From Banks, Recommits To Customer Protection


Mr. Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recovered over N50 billion excess charges imposed on customers by banks.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the CBN Mr Isaac Okorafor who disclosed this while speaking at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair, said the apex bank remained committed to protecting customers from being burdened with excess charges by their banks.

Okorafor urged bank customers to go to the CBN website to see the approved bank charges services rendered by their banks to ensure they are not exploited.
Besides visiting the website, Okorafor advised the Banking public to report incidences of excessive charges they feel their banks may have imposed on them.

The CBN spokesman also disclosed that so far, the CBN has disbursed N43.92 billion to local farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), an agricultural intervention programme of the Bank.

Okorafor said the programme was done in association with 13 participating financial institutions with over 200,000 small holder farmers from 29 states.

He said also that through the ABP, 233,000 hectares of farmland were currently being cultivated with eight commodities comprising rice, wheat, maize, cotton, soyabeans, poultry, cassava and groundnuts in addition to fish farming.

The thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash for farm labour to small holder farmers to boost production of the selected commodities, stabilize inputs supply to agro processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.

Under the ABP, “at harvest, the small holder farmers supplies his or her produce to the Agro-processor, who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account. We cannot let our farmers go hungry while we enrich farmers from other countries. This is why we said for some certain items, which are 41 in number, if you want to import any of them, go and look for your own foreign exchange.”

Okorafor added that “as a complimentary measure, we put in place the Anchor borrowers programme for agriculture to make farmers rise up and fill the space and gap created by the non importation of those items. The programme has given us over two million tons of rice when our national demand is at about six million tons. This has taken our national output to about four million tons in the first year.”

The CBN he said is “very hopeful that we will further add at least another 2 million tons of rice this year and that will take us up to 6 million tons. We are envisaging that by this time next year, Nigeria should be self sufficient in rice production.”

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