The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has tasked the beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrowers loan facilities, especially rice farmers, to pay their loans on time so other farmers can benefit.
The CBN also said the repayment will ensure the sustainability of the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The Governor of the Central Bank Mr Godwin Emefiele made the call on Thursday during the flag-off of the distribution of rice paddy to rice millers across the country as well as the flag-off of the 2021 wet season farming plus inputs distribution.
He performed the exercise at the Kaduna centre but the distribution is happening in 16 states simultaneously.
Represented at the event by the CBN Kaduna Branch Controller, Ahmed Aminu Wali, the apex bank governor said at 27,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy will be distributed to rice millers across the country
He said this will crash the price of rice across the country and force smugglers to count their losses.
The CBN had recently unveiled pyramids of rice paddies in Niger, Kebbi, Gombe and Ekiti States, with the Federal Capital Territory, Ebonyi and Cross River slated for the same exercise in the coming weeks in what the Bank says is part of its contribution to ensuring self-sustenance in food production as well as food security in Nigeria.
The President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Alhaji Aminu Goronyo said the ABP has changed the fortunes of farmers as farming is very rewarding.
Director- General, Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RPAN), Mr Andy Ekwelem condemned illegal importation of rice and aligned the association’s position with the stance taken by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).