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    CBN supporting Export  Markets Through Interventions – Director

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    By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

    The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN will continue to support the creation of export ready markets in order to add to the country’s economic growth through it’s various interventions, Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi has stated. 

    Accordingly, under the Real Sector Facility, the Bank released the sum of ₦66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture. Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stood at ₦2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country, he further stated. 

    The Director disclosed this while speaking during the CBN Special Day at the ongoing 17th Abuja International Trade Fair on Thursday. 

    He said in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Sector, the Bank supported entrepreneurship development with the sum of N39.26 million under the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), bringing the total disbursement under the intervention to N332.43 million.  

    According to him, “cumulatively, disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stood at N2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.  Recently, N20.17 billion was disbursed to 14 projects in healthcare, manufacturing, and services, bringing the cumulative disbursement under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP) to N93.39 billion to 62 projects”.

    “It is important to emphasize here that we take the issue of export-readiness of  businesses seriously, hence we have always encouraged business to embrace our concept of Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE). The PAVE concept aims to make Nigerians consume what they produce, add value to such products and export the surpluses. 

    “It is an initiative similar to the export-led industrialization policy of South-East Asia, which changed the economic fortunes of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. PAVE, which is designed to be the key for fast-tracking a bucket of substitutes to crude oil export, encourages backward integration for the local production of items in which we have comparative advantage. If it worked for the South-East Asians, it surely can work for us in Nigeria”, Nwanisobi added.

    He therefore urge SMEs to ensure that their products and services are export-ready and can compete globally, pointing out that as the world gradually inches towards a digitized global economy, the CBN has kept pace with the emerging trends with the launch of the Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira; the first of its kind in Africa.  

    “This is also in consonance with the Bank’s resolve of continuous modernization of the country’s payments system in view of increasing sophistication of fintech solutions that offer new capabilities to users.   As the slogan goes, ‘same Naira, more possibilities’, the eNaira aims to support Nigeria’s stable and resilient payment system; enhance financial inclusion especially for the SME operators, and reduce the cost of processing money amongst other benefits. 

    “The eNaira is also designed, as an efficient payment instrument, to support the delivery of targeted government’s social investment scheme, promote regional trade and international remittances thereby enhancing foreign exchange stability. I therefore, encourage you to not only onboard on the eNaira platform but to transact with the eNaira”, he stressed. 

    The CBN Director reiterated the Bank’s request to all and sundry to see the Naira as one of Nigeria’s critical assets; respect and keep it clean, adding “do not spray, mutilate, hawk or counterfeit the Naira.  On our part, we shall continue to ensure that we make clean notes available for you”.

    He said despite the global economic challenges, the Bank under the leadership of Governor Godwin Emefiele, “will continue to ensure that the Bank delivers on its core mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability; and that CBN remains a people-focused Central Bank.  We solicit your support and co-operation to return Nigeria to the path of greatness through SMEs as the sector remained the real engine of growth in any economy”.

    In his remarks, the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar said the relationship between the Chamber and the Apex bank which has stood the test of time, will continue to stand strong. 

    He said as a finance professional of several decades of experience, “I consider any institution of finance as my friend and as a banker, who saw it all in the past and now, our gathering brings great memories”.

    ” Therefore, from a personal level, we have deeper appreciation of the critical importance of the Central Bank to the overall growth and development of the economy. More importantly, we understand the dimension and the depth of issues involved in being a Central banker in times of national economic emergency”, he added. 

    Dr Abubakar noted that despite the challenges facing Nigeria’s economy, the Central Bank has been of great benefits to the SME sector by creating different financial platforms for them,  adding that the Bank has come to the rescue the nation by embracing developmental financing tools to assist businesses. 

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