The Central Bank of Nigeria has recovered over N50bn excess charges imposed by banks on their customers.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair on Wednesday.
Okorafor said that the CBN was committed to ensuring that banks customers were not subjected to excess charges and urged them to visit the apex bank’s website to get acquainted with the approved charges.
The Consumer Protection Department of the CBN, he stated, had in the last three years helped customers who complained to recover more than N50bn in excess charges imposed by banks.
He urged other customers who had issues with charges being collected by banks to complain to the appropriate quarters so that their issues could be resolved.
Okorafor also stated that the bank had so far disbursed a total of N43.92bn to farmers through its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
According to him, the agricultural intervention programme of the bank, being executed in association with 13 banks, has benefited 200,000 smallholder farmers from 29 states of the federation.
The CBN spokesperson also said that through the intervention programme, 233,000 hectares of farmland were currently being cultivated with eight commodities, including rice, wheat, maize, cotton, soya beans, cassava and groundnut.
He said, “At harvest, the smallholder farmers supply their produce to the agro-processor, who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.
“We cannot let our farmers go hungry while we enrich farmers from other countries. This is why we said for some certain items, which are 41 in number, if you want to import any of them, go and look for your own foreign exchange.
“As a complementary measure, we put in place the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme for agriculture to make farmers rise up and fill the space and gap created by the non-importation of those items.”
Also speaking at the event, the 2nd Deputy President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, urged the apex bank to reconsider some of its policy stands that were negatively impacting on small businesses.
“While we commend the CBN for its roles in getting our economy out of recession, we want to emphasise that the subsisting high lending rate is stifling production and productivity of the real sector,” he stated.