April 9 2018
From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) may be fine-tuning plans to disburse N60 billion, being 5 per cent of their profit to buoy various developmental initiatives of the Federal Government.
This was as the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at the weekend rejigged portfolios of Deputy Governors of the apex bank with Aisha Ahmad taking over the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate from Dr. Joseph Nnanna Okwu, who now moves to the Economic Policy Directorate. Mr. Edward Lemetek Adamu, has been assigned the portfolio of Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, while Mr. Adebayo Adelabu retains his portfolio as Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate.
Speaking at an award ceremony in Lagos at the weekend, Emefiele said the DMB's 6 per cent contribution will soon hit the N60 billion mark, noting that the money will help address the plight of the vulnerable sectors in Nigeria that are in dire need of credit facilities.
The CBN boss noted that the exposure of the Nigerian economy to global shocks was a clear reflection that Nigeria cannot sufficiently produce what its people consume, hence, the huge dependence on foreign goods.
He attributed the inability of the country to produce what it consumes to heavy dependence on oil sector to provide the foreign exchange needed to finance the country’s imports and the poor diversification of the economy as well as low productivity in key non-oil sector.
The CBN boss also identified the ostentatious and elitist taste for imported goods by Nigerians and the inadequate finance to strategic high impact and high employment multiplier sectors as major challenges facing the economy.
While noting that the level of credit in the domestic economy channelled to productive private sector was critically below the levels required to place the Nigerian economy on the path of balanced, sustainable and inclusive growths, Emefiele, assured that CBN and banks in Nigeria would continue to be catalysts to development in Nigeria, particularly as it concerned the vulnerable and needy in the society.
On measures in place to counter the adverse effects of the global shocks, Emefiele said the apex bank has since embarked on various short and long-term policies such as a cycle of monetary tightening to rein in inflation; external reserves management through the restriction of foreign exchange for imports of goods that can be produced in Nigeria.
He said the bank also established a decisive withdrawal of the "de facto" subsidy for the importation of 41 non-essential commodities with unfolding successes, introduced various policies to eliminate forex speculators, bettors, round-trippers and rent-seekers and thereby stabilise the exchange rate with the establishment of the investors-exporters window, among others.
Reeling out the achievements of the bank, Emefiele said the sum of N393.5 billion had been released to 478 large scale agricultural projects since inception in 2010, even as the bank was poised to disburse up to N400 billion at only 9 per cent interest rate under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF), adding that the strategic initiative was targeted at projects in manufacturing and agriculture, given the mutual interdependence of both sectors for the complete industrialisation of agro-allied business.
He also disclosed that under the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), established in 2011, more than 224 projects valued at over N33 billion were guaranteed for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s Growth Enhancement Scheme.