By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—The Export and Investors Window of foreign exchange market has raked in $4 billion since it was created by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in May.
This was announced by the Bankers’ Committee, at the end of its meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, who briefed the press along with some operators, including the Managing Director of Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, said economic indices showed that the economy could have come out of recession based on non-oil sector growth in the second quarter.
On the foreign exchange, he said: “You would recall that the CBN set up an Export and Investors’ Window in May and the fact was given to us today that so far, the volume of the trading that had gone on in that window is about $4 billion and that is quite a good number.
“It shows that the banks have done a lot of rallying. It shows that the banks have been resilient. This shows that the banks have contributed largely in bringing in FDIs as much as possible into the market.
“In fact, there was particularly a single ticket that was done on August 1, a transaction of $240 million. So, we think that things will be looking up and we are quite hopeful that things are going in the right direction.”
On recession, Abdullahi said: “We observed that this economy is coming out of recession. There is this belief that the second quarter of the year has seen the economy emerging out of recession. The reason of the belief is that the major non-oil sectors of the economy have witnessed growth.”
Also, Emuwa disclosed that members of the public could now access the Agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Fund, as its board had been inaugurated and a Project Review Committee put in place.
He said: “Those who are interested in accessing such funds or looking for equity to support their agriculture or their SME should approach their banks now so that the banks can do their preliminary reviews and pass such request on to the project review committee of this organisation.”
The board consists of the Managing Directors of the following banks: Guaranty Trust, Access, FirstBank, Zenith, UBA as well as CBN Directors of Banking Supervision and Development Finance.
It also has a Project Review Committee, comprising FCMB, Unity, Sterling Banks.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment scheme is a voluntary initiative of the Bankers’ Committee.
The initiative was in response to the Federal Government’s concerns and policy measures for the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for rapid industrialisation, sustainable economic development, poverty alleviation and employment generation.
The Scheme requires all banks in Nigeria to set aside 10 percent of their Profit After Tax PAT, for equity investment and promotion of small and medium enterprises.
The 10% of the Profit After Tax (PAT) to be set aside annually shall be invested in small and medium enterprises as the banking industry’s contribution to the Federal Government’s efforts towards stimulating economic growth, developing local technology and generating employment.
The funding to be provided under the scheme will be in the form of equity investment in eligible enterprises