CBN Reiterates Commitment To Real Sector

CBN Reiterates Commitment To Real Sector

By Ifeanyi Nweke, Enugu

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says it will continue to support interventions aimed at stimulating production and productivity across the real sector.

CBN’s Ag. Director General, Corporate Communications Department, Abdulmumin Isa who was represented by Esu Imoh, made this known while delivering an address at the CBN special day at the 34th Enugu International Trade Fair.

According to him, “Under the anchor borrowers’ programme, ABP, over 4.6 million smallholder famers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on 6.02 million hectares of farmland across the country were sponsored by the bank”. Isa stated.

Also, Isa stated that the CBN also supported the take-off of 8 new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and service under the real sector facility bringing the bank’s intervention to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services and 13 mining sector projects.

“In the payment system space, the CBN continues to seek creative ways to ensure that Nigeria takes full advantage of its opportunities and benefits.

“This led to the launch of the eNaira in October 2021 aimed at broadening the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking inter-governmental and social transfers.” Isa noted.

On the recent redesign of some denominations of the Naira, Isa reiterated that the policy, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, was in the overall interest of Nigeria and the economy, in addition to aligning with international best practices.

“Overall, the policy has started strengthening our macroeconomic fundamentals, moderating inflation, upscaled our financial inclusion rate, led to relative stability in the exchange rate and supported the effort of our security agencies in combating banditry and ransome taking in the country,” Isa said.

He said that the Nigeria payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the growing surge in online transactions.

“We therefore, urge Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels, such as eNaira, USSD, and other internet banking facilities as Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the global financial ecosystem,” Isa noted.

Responding, the President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture, ECCIMA, Jasper Nduagwuike expressed worry over the recent increase in interest rates by the CBN to 18 percent in an aggressive push to contain Nigeria’s inflationary pressure.

“The high interest rate regime will likely have adverse effect on the accessibility of bank credit by businesses.

“There is no doubt and the industrial sector from further glaring cringe.

“While we commend the CBN for its measure to rebuilding stronger business confidence and ensuring stability in the economy particularly in the financial/banking sector, we advice the CBN to utilise the period of grace for full implementation of the naira redesign and cashless policy as directed by the supreme court of Nigeria,” Nduagwuike said.

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