CBN To Improve Agric Lending

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has promised that the apex bank would improve lending to the agricultural sector this year. 

  He also said that the bank would also pay special attention to diversify its product offering during the year.

  A statement issued by the CBN in Lagos said that the apex bank governor made the pledge at the investiture ceremony of the ‘Man of the Year Award’ in Ibadan last week.

Sanusi said that the bank would also focus on shared services to improve cost of doing business in the Nigerian banking sector.

He said that Nigerians now understood the reasons CBN took some decisions in the interest of the depositors who had kept faith with the system.

“In the next few weeks, at least four of the rescued banks would have concluded their MOUs, signalling the final stage of their recapitalisation to be concluded by the first half of this year.

 ”A lot of progress has been recorded on power sector reform as funds have been put together for its financing, while the N200 billion set aside for the SMEs at single digit interest rate has saved thousands of jobs,” Sanusi said.

Sanusi said that other areas where much impact had been recorded were stability in the foreign exchange market, moderated inflation and restoration of confidence in the banking system.

Others, he said, include recovery of the stock market and improved yields on fixed income securities in the financial sector, all of which he said, would begin to show impressive outcome in 2011 through 2012.

Our correspondent  reports that the CBN disbursed N8.281 billion during the fourth quarter of 2010 under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).