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CBN threatens to arrest, jail farmers over delay in loan repayment

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Amid rising default, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to arrest farmers yet to repay their loans.

According to CBN it could no longer condone farmers thinking the money from the Anchor Borrowers’ Program was a gift and will henceforth arrest and lock up defaulters until they pay back the loans.

This was disclosed by the CBN Comptroller, Bauchi Branch, Saladu Idris, while speaking at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The CBN official stated that even though a lot of farmers have remained, the loan defaulters were particularly amongst the rice farmers.

Mr. Idris bemoaned the fact that some rice farmers who were part of the Anchor Borrowers Scheme had defaulted on their loans.

He said, “Most people have paid back but there are a few who have failed to pay back. We called the leaders of the rice farmers associations and reported these people to them. They gave us the assurance that they will follow them up and ensure that they pay.

Read also: CBN amends Anchor Borrowers Programme guidelines, threatens farmers with sanctions

“Part of the terms of the agreement was that as soon as the harvest is done, they are to pay back. Those who fail to pay, we will take appropriate action against them. They will be arrested and locked up until they pay back. And for those who pay back fully on time, they will be rewarded with higher amounts of money and more inputs.”

As at March 2021, farmers were owing over N463 billion.

The Anchor Borrowers Programme was launched by the Federal Government in 2015 to boost agricultural yields, halt food importation and address the negative trade balance in the country.

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