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CBN to Accelerate Intervention in Critical Sectors – Emefiele

Godwin emefiele
Nigeria's Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has reiterated the commitment of the bank towards developing the critical sectors of the economy through its intervention schemes.

The Intervention programme, initiated in 1977, was aimed to fast-track the development of the real economy, especially manufacturing and agriculture, by improving access to credit to operators and improve the financial position of the Deposit Money Banks.

Emefiele made this remark during press briefing at the conclusion of the September 162nd Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on September 27, 2022 where the decision was made to raise the benchmark interest rate from 14 percent to 15.5 percent to tackle the raging inflation which hit 20.6 percent in August,.

Enumerating the success story of the apex bank’s intervention fund in rescuing the economy from the effects of COVID-19 and subsequent recession, Emefiele said that one of the schemes, Real Sector Facility, had impacted positively on manufacturing.

“Under the Real Sector Facility, the Bank released the sum of N66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture. Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stood at N2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.“

He also said that the 100 for 100 intervention policy boosted production and productivity.

“Furthermore, under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), the Bank disbursed the sum of N20.17 billion to 14 projects in healthcare, manufacturing, and services, bringing the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N93.39 billion to 62 projects.

“In the healthcare sector, N4.00 billion was disbursed to two (2) healthcare projects under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), bringing the cumulative disbursement to N130.54 billion for 131 projects, comprising of 32 pharmaceuticals, 60 hospitals and 39 other services.

“Under the Export Facilitation Initiative (EFI), the Bank funded several commodity projects in the non-oil export segment for value-addition and production to the tune of N3.24 billion, aside the N50.00 billion disbursed through the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM),” the apex bank boss stated.

He revealed that in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector, the Bank supported entrepreneurship development with the sum of N39.26 million under the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), bringing the total disbursement under this intervention to N332.43 million.

He added, “Under the Intervention Facility for the National Gas Expansion Programme (IFNGEP), the Bank disbursed N1.00 billion to support the adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the preferred fuel for transportation and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the preferred cooking fuel,”

He said the bank will not wind down on the intervention scheme but will narrow the scope to focus more on the critical sectors that impact significantly on the economy, especially in manufacturing and agriculture to boost job creation.

On the domestic front, he said available data on key macroeconomic variables indicate that output growth will continue for the rest of 2022, however, at a much-subdued pace.

“Some of these domestic shocks include: the high level of insecurity currently disrupting the free flow of economic activities; heightened sovereign risk as the 2023 general elections approach; continued upward pressure on inflation, driven by exchange rate pressures amongst other domestic factors.

“In addition, domestic price development is expected to maintain the current upward trend in light of the build-up of increased spending and demand for money, as the 2023 general elections approach.

“Accordingly, the Nigerian economy is forecast to grow in 2022 by 3.52 per cent (CBN), 4.20 per cent (FGN) and 3.40 per cent (IMF),” Emefiele said.