The Central Bank of Nigeria is to give a loan of N1.5 billion to Plateau State under the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme.
Yusuf Duniya, Branch Controller, CBN Jos, made the disclosure when he led the State of Financial Inclusion Committee on a courtesy call on Governor Simon Lalong on Wednesday in Jos.
Duniya said the AADS was for the youth of between 18 years and 35 years who were expected to work in clusters.
He said: “No fewer than 10,000 youths are targeted per state in the scheme.
“The State Government needs to provide land in clusters, a minimum of 100 hectares per cluster.
“And to do a pilot for 1,000 youths to qualify for infrastructure development loan of N1.5 billion, which will be secured through Irrevocable Standing Payment Order and two-year tenor of nine per cent.”
The branch manager said the state government would choose a bank to package the loans for the applicants.
He recalled that the state had benefited from Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme the sum of N1 billion twice through Fidelity Bank and repaid the money.
Duniya said a loan of N900 million was being processed by the same bank for the benefit of the state Agricultural Services and Training Centre.
“The loan is currently undergoing Credit Risk Management System at the CBN,” he said.
The branch manager urged the governor to support the Plateau State Small and Medium Scale Development Agency to train more youths in entrepreneurial skills.
He said that CBN had loans for youths who had entrepreneurial/vocational skills under its Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme.
According to Duniya, the loan limit was N10 million at 9 per cent all-inclusive interest rate with tenor of seven years and moratorium of 18 years for principal and six months for interest.
Lalong thanked the CBN officials for the visit and assured them of his administration’s commitment toward improving lives of the people of the state.
He appealed to the CBN to impress on banks in the state to return to 4pm closing time instead of the 3pm, now that peace had return to the state.
The governor said closing by 3pm was denying the state some economic advantages.
He said: “We are happy that you are bringing some of these schemes, and I can assure you that we will cooperate with you.”
Lalong advised the CBN to always make out time to adequately sensitise the people about its programmes to avoid misconceptions.