By Princewill Ekwujuru
Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said it has so far set aside the sum of N2.02 trillion as intervention funds for operators in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy to access. CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by the bank’s Ag Director, Development Finance, Dr. Olaitan Adeola, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum titled: “Accelerating Enterprise competitiveness and growth in Nigeria: Building capacity for sustainable development’ in Lagos. The forum was organised by African Management Services Company, AMSCO.
He said that from the past administration to date, policy instruments such as schemes, guarantees, rebates, establishment of development finance institutions, DFIs, and capacity building have been used to intervene in the nation’s economy.
Emefiele noted that CBN’s commitment under each instrument type runs into billions of Naira under various schemes such as Commercial Agricultural Credit Schemes, CACs which amounts to N200 billion, Power and Aviation Intervention Fund, PAIF, N300 billion, Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Fund, MSMEDF, N220 billion, Real Sector Support Facility, RSSF N300 billion and Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility, NEMSF N213 billion through revolving credit facilities totaling N1.233 trillion.
He said other Funds set aside for operators to access include multi-pronged financing under NISRAL, which included risk sharing, insurance and technical assistance facilities as well as holistic bank rating and bank incentives mechanisms, which amounts to N75 billion. The N203 billion guarantee funds under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, ACGSF.
In addition, he stated that the amount so far disbursed include the N203 billion Small Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Scheme, SMECGS programmes through a revolving credit facilities.
He said that the government added another N2 billion of interest rebate funds under the revolving Interest Draw Back, IDB of the ACGSF and single digit interest rates in many other schemes. According to him, CBN has directed the establishment of agricultural desks at all deposit money banks, DMBs, licensing and supervision of operations of microfinance banks, MFBs, collateral registry to register security interests in all kinds of assets to ease collateral constraint and expansion of foreign exchange exclusion list to promote domestic production.
On his part, Mr. Paul Melherbe, stated that there are three key issues that require special attention for Nigeria to meet its private sector development agenda. These he listed as including a change of focus from youth education to youth entrepreneurship, increased interventions that promote gender empowerment and directly developing SMEs with limited skills.
“Most Africans SMEs are faced with growth challenges because there is a dependency on large companies or cooperates to educate them. Our business landscape can only improve if we don’t wait but rather place our lens on collaborations to develop human capital at SME level, matching the right skills with right jobs, training the management of those businesses and helping them access capital to reinvent themselves, this is our core focus at AMSCO,” said Malherbe.