Senate directs CBN to recover N1.079trn Anchor Borrowers loans

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Abuja, March 22, 2024 – The Senate has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recover the N1.079 trillion loans given to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Loans scheme.

The money was part of the N30 trillion overdraft given to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration by the CBN from 2015 to 2023.

Jibrin Isah (APC-Kogi East), the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee probing the N30 trillion, directed the CBN to debit commercial banks that handled the disbursement of the loan from the source.

He gave the directive at an investigative hearing organized by the committee following explanations by CBN officials led by the Deputy Governor of Corporate Services, Bala Bello, on poor recovery of the loan.

Isah told reporters: “They defaulted and why do they default. You can’t restructure the loan forever. You can go after the collateral, you must up your games, we need to recover these monies. We can’t continue to restructure forever.

“We are talking about N358 billion that hasn’t been repaid and is at the risk of default.

“For those that have defaulted, I suggest that we put a peg on the interest. Our focus should be on the principal. On that, those loans must have been guaranteed by the banks. I want to believe that those banks must have covered their backs through collateral.

“I am sure no bank will grant loans without collateral. They must open up to you. We have the power to go through the whole hog by debiting them at source. We can do that, let them go to Court.”

The CBN Deputy Governor, had in his explanations to the committee on the outstanding loans, blamed lack of supervision by the immediate past management of the CBN for the loan default.

He promised that the new management of the apex bank would do everything possible to recover outstanding loans. (GBN)

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