The Central Bank of Nigeria has been commended by the manufacturers on the planned disbursement of N93.2 billion out of N1 trillion intervention fund targeted at manufacturing and agribusiness sectors for economic recovery, post COVID-19.
Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Muda Yusuf, while giving kudos to the CBN initiative, nevertheless lamented the difficulty faced by would-be beneficiaries in accessing the funds.
According to him, many businesses have reported their inability to access the loan facilities to the chamber, imploring the 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.
He said: “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.”
These complementary actions, Yusuf stressed, are desirable and important to achieve the desired outcomes of a truly diversified economy, urging commercial banks to take a cue from the CBN in the promotion of economic development goals.
The Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ambrose Oruche said the apex bank’s plan is a prerequisite for, and critical to economic growth and recovery, post COVID-19, saying the manufacturing and agric sectors being large drivers of employment, industrialisation and economic growth, needed adequate monetary policy intervention.
“The disbursement is in line with Federal Government’s agenda to keep exploring options with the private sector to fund investments in infrastructure,” saying “this is expected to aid employment generation, support production and boost output growth and so is a very welcome development.”
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the Monetary Policy Committee Meeting last week, said the bank will disburse N93.2 billion out of the N1 trillion intervention provision to boost manufacturing and agriculture.