Cocoa Exporters Cry Out Over Non-implementation Of N550bn Export Funds

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Cocoa exporters under the auspices of Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria (CEAN) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank to enforce the implementation of the N550billion export funds approved by the Federal government to enable commercial banks give out loans to exporters at single digit interest rate.

Speaking during a press conference in Akure, Ondo State capital, the national zecretary of the association, Kayode Babade, frowned over the delay in implementing the Federal government directives on the loan for non oil exports sector.

The CBN and the NEXIM had last year announced the commencement of the implementation of the N500 billion Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility and the N50 billion Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility in order to boost non-oil exports by providing low-interest loans to exporters.

But Babade said despite the directives on the implementation of the loan exporters were still having high interest loan from the commercial banks for their business due to the non-implementation of the exports funds.

“We have learnt through national newspapers that the CBN has unveiled the implementation of N550billion export funds. Consequent upon all these, our banks requested us to apply for these funds, which we did and got letters of offer. Up till now CBN and NEXIM bank are yet to disburse the funds to our banks for onward lending to the exporters. We are at present trading at a commercial interest rate of between 24 and 27 percent. This is retarding the growth of the export business,” he said.

He noted the need for all the relevant stakeholders in the financial sector to assist the exporters in implementing the exports funds to enable them stay in the business and also to avoid unemployment in the nearest future.

He noted that the current interest rate of loans from commercial banks was between 24 and 27 percent per annum which he said was too high compare to what occurs in other countries of the world and affecting the growth of export business across the country.

Babade, however, appealed to the relevant authorities including the CBN and the NEXIM bank to ensure speedy disbursement of the export stimulation facility, “as approved by the Federal Government to the commercial banks” for inward lending to them (exporters) .