Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed the sum of N2.1 trillion under the Real Sector Support Facility Initiative.
The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed this afternoon, at the on-going 17th Abuja International Trade Fair.
According to him, the disbursement was to 426 projects across the country, as part of CBN’s efforts to grow the nation’s economy.
Mr. Nwanisobi who was representedby the Deputy Director, Internal Communications, Mr. Sam Okogbue, said, “For the records, under the Real Sector Facility, the Bank released the sum of ₦66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture.
“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stood at ₦2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.”
On the theme of this year’s fair, “Creating an Export Ready Market through SME Digitalization,” the CBN spokesman said that the apex bank was determined to assist players in the sector to produce goods that meet international standards for export.
He said , “The Bank’s management is delighted that your Chamber is spearheading conversations on the need to grow the nation’s economy through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“This also underscores the CBN Governor’s continued calls on Nigerians to not only support the thriving of the SMEs in the production of commodities in which they have comparative advantage but to produce, add value and export and earn foreign exchange.”
He added that the bank’s participation was an opportunity to sensitize members of the public on its policies and programmes, especially its strategic interventions for a sustainable economic development in Nigeria.
According to the director, “As part of efforts towards creating export market, particularly for non-oil commodities, driven by SMEs, the Bank, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee in February 2022, initiated the RT200 FX Programme aimed at boosting earnings of stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange as well as insulating the Nigerian economy from shocks and other challenges arising from foreign exchange shortages.
“Our records show that the initiative has started yielding the expected results as importers and exporters have been taking advantage of the payment of incentives of N65 for every US$1 repatriated and sold at the I&E Window to authorized dealer banks for other third-parties’ use and N35 for every US$1 repatriated by exporter for own use on eligible transactions.
“The Bank has continued to support the creation of export ready market, especially those that would add to Nigeria’s economic growth and development, through her interventions in different sectors of the economy.
“It is important to emphasize here that we take the issue of export-readiness of businesses seriously, hence we have always encouraged business to embrace our concept of Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE).
“The PAVE concept aims to make Nigerians consume what they produce, add value to such products and export the surpluses. It is an initiative similar to the export-led industrialization policy of South-East Asia, which changed the economic fortunes of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. PAVE, which is designed to be the key for fast-tracking a bucket of substitutes to crude oil export, encourages backward integration for the local production of items in which we have comparative advantage.
” If it worked for the South-East Asians, it surely can work for us in Nigeria. I therefore urge SMEs to ensure that their products and services are export-ready and can compete globally.”
In his remarks, the President of the ACCII, Mr. Mustapha Abubakar, said that the Fair provided a platform for networking and creating business relationships among companies.