Says it has nothing to do with politics
Emma Uca, Head of the Bureau of Abuja
The recent decline in the country's foreign reserves has nothing to do with current political activities, said the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The director of corporate affairs, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, who announced this yesterday, explained the reduction by what he called "global contraction in emerging markets, which was a result of the increase in interest rates in the United States of America."
Okafor, who spoke at the 2018 International Trade Fair in Abuja, said that at the current level of $ 44 billion, the foreign reserve is able to finance imports from 14 to 17 months, which is much higher than the internationally acceptable level of three months of imports.
CBN has allocated more than N260 billion for the development of small and medium enterprises, small and medium enterprises and agricultural business in the country.
According to him, N220 billion were directed to the Fund for the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEDF; N200 billion. For SME restructuring and refinancing, SMERRF; and another N200 billion for Commercial Commercial Credit Scheme, CACS.
He said: “More than any other institution in this country, the CBN has demonstrated a passionate commitment to supporting SMEs in agribusiness through various events and development financing schemes.”
Ohororaf said that the theme of the trade fair “Strengthening SMEs in Agribusiness through Innovative Technologies” was relevant because it corresponded to the “CBN Strategic Center” to empower SMEs and support agribusiness as viable alternatives to over-reliance on petrodollars.
Other top-level bank interventions in various sectors of the economy, he said, included the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund, ACGSF, the SME credit guarantee system, SMECGS; N300 billion Power and Airline Intervention Fund, PAIF; Nigeria A risk incentive system based on incentives for agricultural credit, NIRSAL; and the Real Sector Support Fund, RSSF.
Others include the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilization Mechanism; NEMSF; Entrepreneurship Development Centers, EDC; Youth Entrepreneurship Development Program, YEDP, Export Promotion Fund, ESF; Investment Scheme for Agribusiness / Small and Medium Enterprises, AGSMEIS; Paddy aggregation scheme, PAS; Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, AADS; and Anchor Borrowings Program, ABP.
He said that ABP "has achieved outstanding success in terms of reducing national accounts for food imports and increasing the income and financial capacity of local farmers."
Ohorofor said that the overall impact of these interventions was to increase the operational capacity of SMEs, which led to a reflection of the economy with appropriate growth and development.
He pledged further support for CBN under the leadership of Governor Godwin Empheille for the real sectors of the economy, fulfilling his primary mandate to ensure monetary and price stability.
“The bank should also constantly pursue an active and innovative policy that would support all economic sub-sectors, especially SMEs in agribusiness.
“We are determined to ensure that the Nigerian economy remains in a state of stable growth, even when we focus on diversifying the economy and national food sufficiency,” he assured.
He called for the cooperation of all Nigerians in the mission to return Nigeria to the path of greatness through massive support for SMEs, which is described as a real engine of growth in any economy.
Earlier, the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, highly appreciated that CBN helps SMEs stabilize the exchange.
He said: “In the area of financial development, he secured the supply of funds to various sectors of the economy, which contributed to the growth of the economy on a holistic basis, which led to development, and the improvement of welfare continued at a faster pace.
“Similarly, the Nigerian payment system witnessed remarkable achievements in the recent past with the introduction of a number of initiatives within the 2020 Payment System.