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‘Drop Your Arms, Embrace Anchor Borrowers’ Programme’ – Emefiele Begs Bandits

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Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has appealed to bandits and others involved in unlawful activities to drop their arms and embrace central bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

He also announced that the central bank has been encouraged to increase its COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility to N400 billion from N300 billion.

Emefiele made this known while addressing journalists after a two-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja.

Now in its fifth year, the ABP is the CBN intervention programme for farmers aimed at boosting food production in the country.

In March 2021, the apex bank said 3.8 million farmers have benefited from it, and N554.61 billion has been disbursed to the beneficiaries.

While answering questions at the end of a two-day monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja, Emefiele said there is interconnectivity between security and economy.

He expressed;

If you want an economy to grow, the level of insecurity must be low because if there is a high level of insecurity like what we see today, the economy will suffer.

He said security institutions are doing their best to tackle insecurity in the country, stressing;

Efforts are now targeted at southeastern and northeastern parts of the country. About three years ago, the federal government and the United States signed a pact that resulted in a government to government acquisition of military equipment.

Out of which, we are expecting 12 fighter planes that would help us solve our insecurity. I am aware that six of them are coming to the country in the month of July and August.

Emefiele added;

I, therefore, would like to appeal to our brothers, who decide that they want to live in bushes and forests that they should please, begin to retreat, drop their arms and come and embrace the anchor borrowers’ programme.

If they do so, it will help them; if they choose not to do so, they will be confronted by the security as this battle continues.

I am optimistic before the end of the year, around the year of the end, the security challenges confronting the country will substantially abate.

On whether the CBN had been vindicated following the crash of cryptocurrency market after the apex bank had opposed its operations in the country, Emefiele said it was not about CBN being vindicated.

He added that CBN investigated and found out that a substantial percentage of Nigerians are involved in cryptocurrency which is “not the best.”

Emefiele clarified;

Don’t get me wrong, some may be legitimate but I dare say most are illegitimate and I will corroborate that. Under cryptocurrency and bitcoin, Nigeria comes second right? But in the global size of the economy, Nigeria comes 27th.

So do you think that there is some correlation? You think those countries whose economies are second and 26th will allow you to grow your cryptocurrency business to second position, if what is inside is a big deal that is going to profit everybody?

He added;

Of course, we saw it that the market collapsed…Elon Musk twitted sometime about the time the CBN said our banking and payment infrastructure will no longer be available for cryptocurrency transactions – he twitted, that he was going to invest about $1.5 billion in crypto and the rates went to the highest roof.

And he then twitted again and raised a fee concerns and the thing plunged. Elon Musk had himself decided that he will no longer deal in cryptos.

And so if a man who felt it was good suddenly decides to say it’s no longer good and then you…don’t forget, those who invented crypto said it is encrypted.

When they say it’s encrypted, it means that whatever is happening between me and you is only know to the two of us. And you know what? In case I defraud you because it is encrypted, you can’t even disclose my name and you can’t even get your money back.

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