“So far, the CBN has, through its MSME fund, disbursed over N100 billion to the MSME sector, but we still feel a lot can be done.”
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have gulped over N100 billion from the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support the country’s economic recovery and growth, even as another N60 billion is still in the kitty to fund their counterparts in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
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This was disclosed by its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the weekend in his address, ‘Strengthening the Economic Recovery Process in Nigeria’, during the annual Bankers’ Dinner, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos .
According to him, the apex bank recognizes that the greatest challenge confronting the MSMEs and local farmers is access to credit, and to unlock the growth potential, they must access funding seamlessly.
His words: “Our efforts at supporting small scale farmers and SMEs is based on our awareness of the critical role they can play in supporting our economic recovery and growth, as well as in creating job opportunities for millions of Nigerians. So far, the CBN has, through its MSME fund, disbursed over N100 billion to the MSME sector, but we still feel a lot can be done. Under the auspices of the Bankers Committee, the sum of over N60 billion has so far been set aside under the AGSMIES fund to fund Micro Small and Medium enterprise businesses in the
Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors of our economy. The CBN recognizes that the greatest challenge confronting the MSMES and local farmers is access to credit, and that to unlock the growth potentials in our country ; this group must access funding seamlessly. In response to this challenge, the CBN will in due course take action that will directly bring banking services to the rural communities through licensing of a national Microfinance Bank to be located in all local governments in Nigeria, through which credit can be channeled to our rural communities. We will continue to explore ways, in partnering with the fiscal authorities, on how we can best provide farmers and SMES with the support they need to expand their operations.”
On the ban on 41 items, he said the recovery from the recession may have been much weaker or even negative, without the implementation of the restriction on 41 items.
“Any attempt to reverse the course of this actions may have untold consequences on the growth trajectory of our economy particularly in our push to diversify and restructure our economy.
“The CBN’s Economic intelligence and Banking Supervision Departments will work very hard with the EFCC to expose and sanction any bank, company or foreign exchange(forex) operator that colludes with unscrupulous individuals/ companies to undermine the policy on 41 items.