Nigeria: CBN's Tech Strategy for 'Anchor Borrowers', Cleaner Notes

Feb 20, 2018 | The Guardian - All Africa

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced technology to guide input distribution of farmers under it Anchor Borrowers Programme.

As part of efforts to improve the operational efficiency of the Anchor Borrower's Programme (ABP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced technology to guide input distribution of farmers under it Anchor Borrowers Programme. The pilot phase, flagged off at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), last week, was meant to build a national data base for small holder farmers, enhance efficiency of input distribution and eliminate ghost farmers. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, while speaking at the flag off ceremony for this year's farming season, said the biometric information of the farmers had been taken, their farms mapped and biometric cards produced for each farmer, which would identify them while collecting the inputs from the service providers. His Special Adviser on Agriculture, Olatunde Akande, who represented him at the event re-emphasised that service providers had already mapped all the farmlands to be used for this season in order to avoid false claims by the participating farmers.He noted that the FCT farmers would be used to try the technological innovation introduced into the ABP, adding that the process will spread across 24 states that are participating under the Rice Farmers Association Nigeria (RIFAN)- ABP dry season. The governor later flagged off the input distribution exercise with 10 farmers from Abaji, Bwari and Kuje Area Council, using their biometric cards, as a test run to what can be accomplished by effective technology.The inputs distributed included water pump, NPK fertilizer, organic fertilizer, urea fertilizer and herbicide. The service providers also presented tractors that would be used for ploughing and harrowing. All these inputs form part of the total loan due to the farmer, thereby eliminating the old way of disbursing cash directly to the farmers. Note that the strategy is not just about reducing cash transactions, but as already acknowledged globally, digital innovations are fast enthroning a regime of transparency and accountability, as well as reaching the expected target.The representative of the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Emmanuel Ameh, urged the farmers to make judicious use of the inputs, as a way of reciprocating the efforts of CBN. The President, RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, thanked Emefiele for his leadership and commitment to ensuring that Nigerian farmers are empowered to contribute to economic development and urged all RIFAN members to take advantage of this opportunity as it marks a new beginning for funding small holder farmers in Nigeria. The input distribution anchored by the trio of the CBN, BOA, and RIFAN would continue throughout the week in the North Central states of Niger, Kogi, Nassarawa and Benue. Other zones will commence in succession, according to the roll out plan. Similarly, the complaints about dirty and unfit notes in circulation are not new, because at a certain point in the banking industry operations, the over-the-counter and Automated Teller Machines' transactions expectedly, became the outlet for dirty notes that were mixed with new notes.Two bulk tellers from two banks told The Guardian that they have the discretion to sort out dirty notes and even reject them when customers come with them, because "if you collect unfit note, it would be debited against you," yet these financial institutions were one of the disbursers of the near unfit currencies in circulation. Read more on
All Africa.