The Central Bank of Nigeria’s planned disbursement of N93.2 billion out of N1 trillion intervention fund for manufacturing and agribusiness sectors has received stakeholders’ commendation.
The intervention is part of post-COVID-19 initiatives for the nation’s economic recovery.
The Organized Private Sector under the aegis of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and thecManufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) applauded the Apex Bank’s intervention.
Persecondnews recalls that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had at the May 2020 Monetary Policy Committee Meeting, announced that the bank will disburse N93.2 billion out of the N1 trillion intervention fund to bolster ailing manufacturing and agricultural sectors already hit by COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Assessing the initiative, MAN’s Director-General, Mr Ambrose Oruche, said the apex bank’s plan was a prerequisite for economic growth and recovery in post-COVID-19 Nigeria.
According to him, the manufacturing and agric sectors, being the largest drivers of employment, industrialisation and economic growth, need adequate monetary policy intervention.
Oruche said: “The disbursement is in line with Federal Government’s agenda to keep exploring options with the private sector to fund investments in infrastructure.
“This is expected to aid employment generation, support production and boost output growth and so it is a very welcome development.”
On his part, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Muda Yusuf, while giving kudos to the CBN initiative, lamented the difficulties faced by would-be beneficiaries in accessing the funds.
He said many entrepreneurs had inundated the chamber with complaints about their inability to access the loans.
Yusuf urged the relevant authorities at CBN to undertake periodic impact assessment of the fund and publish the status of implementation such as disbursements, number of beneficiaries and general impact of the funds.
“Finance is critical to strengthening the real sector of the economy.
“Funding is necessary but not sufficient condition to transform manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors.
“We need more active interventions from regulatory agencies, the Nigerian Customs Service, better power delivery from the electricity sector, better transport logistics, seamless cargo clearing processes and an investment friendly bureaucracy,” the LCCI DG said.
He noted that the complementary actions were desirable and important to achieve the desired outcomes of a truly diversified economy.
Yusuf, therefore, appealed to commercial banks in the country to take a cue from the CBN on the promotion of economic development goals.