February 15, 2019

Bankers Committee initiates special fund for creative industries, IT


Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country have initiated a special fund to provide low-interest, long-term financing for the music, movies, fashion and Information Technology (IT) sector.

The decision to stimulate these sectors through special funding was reached at the Bankers’ Committee meeting, held at the CBN headquarters, in Abuja, yesterday.

CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, who briefed the press along with other CBN Directors and some banks’ Managing Directors (MDs), said CBN and DMBs are undertaking the initiative to accelerate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, create massive employment opportunities and reduce poverty in the country. He also revealed that the nation’s foreign reserve had reached a new level of $43 billion.

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Abdullahi said: “We have stability in the foreign exchange market, our reserves are over $43 billion as we speak.

“What is more for us, the forecast for 2019 may look good because the United States Federal Reserve Bank is likely to moderate rate.   They have already said that they are not going to hike rate.   That is very good for Emerging Markets.   That means that the dollar is not going to strengthen against our currency. The initiative will help grow our GDP.   It is going to help create jobs and help reduce poverty.”

On how to implement the initiative, MD of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said it would be implemented through the provision of various infrastructure and shared facilities, across special hubs for the identified sub-sectors.

His words: “The Bankers’ Committee has identified the creative and IT sectors as critical sectors to support social and inclusive growth in Nigeria.   We basically found out that the sector would generate a significant amount of employment and given how the Nigeria creative sectors has done well in Nollywood and in music, Nigeria can become the heart of tourism if that sector is handled properly.”