The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced today that it has unveiled a framework that will integrate a non-interest window in all its intervention programmes aimed at supporting businesses and households that have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement released by the apex bank said the integration will focus mainly on its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as well as the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF). Note that the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme mainly provides financial and other supports to smallholder farmers in a bid to boost productivity. You may learn more about it by clicking here.
What this means: This simply means that the CBN is putting measures in place that will ensure to provide loans to Medium, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) without requiring borrowers to pay interests on such loans. The CBN’s guidelines on Non-Interest Window defines it thus:
“A non-interest window operation is defined as part of a conventional financial institution (which may be a branch or a dedicated unit) that provides fund management (investment accounts), financing, investment and other banking services that are Shariah-compliant.”
In the meantime, the CBN will be deploying the sum of N432 billion to fund the value chains of nine commodities during the 2020 farming season. This is part of the government’s commitment to reinvigorate the country’s agric sector by providing necessary support to farmers, all with the ultimate goal of averting a recession in the economy. Part of the statement by the CBN said:
“CBN earmarks N432bn to fund the value chains of nine commodities in the 2020 wet season farming. CBN committed to aggressively fund its agricultural programmes and spur farmers along select crop value chains to prevent the country from sliding into a recession.”
At least, more than 1.1 million farmers (cultivating more than one million hectares of arable lands) will benefit from the CBN loans. This should enable them to collectively produce as much as 8.3 million metric tons of assorted produce.