The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has begun the process of repayment of N3 billion loan it accessed in Katsina State from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme in the last farming season. The official flag off of the loan repayment programme which took place in Daura, Katsina State, saw farmers repaying their loans with their yields’ worth. In his address, the president of MAAN, Bello Abubakar, who urged the beneficiaries to ensure they repay their loans promptly to avoid being sanctioned, also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to review the interest rates of the Anchor Borrowers programme for easy repayment. While calling on banks to continue to support maize farmers, Abubakar called for total ban of maize importation in Nigeria, stressing that the maize farmers in Nigeria can produce enough maize grains to service local demand. “That there is not enough maize in the country is not true, we can produce more than enough in our country, let the maize users ask and it shall be produced. I want to call on all the beneficiaries of the programme to quickly submit their produce and repay their loan on time, as MAAN will not spare any member who defaulted,” Abubakar noted. “Banks should also partner with us by making loans available to MAAN members. Also, all maize users are strongly advised to partner with us for the supply of any quantity of maize needed. We assure you that we will meet your needs, we have done it in 2016 through doubling of maize production.” Abubakar further called on the federal government to consider all commodity associations to buy their grains. He however congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election, adding that his administration has contributed so much in revamping the agriculture sector. Earlier, the managing director, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Kabiru Kabiru Mohammed-Adamu, said the association promised an initial repayment of N1.2 billion this week, without giving details on when the remaining balance of N1.8 billion would be paid. He said: “MAAN got about N3 billion during the first season. The agreement we have with them is that repayment will be 30 per cent initial repayment, then 40 per cent during the second season and then 30 per cent during the last season, so with the N1.2 billion they have made promise to repay the loan. We will closely monitor them, we will still support them for the next season.”

Source: Leadership

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