The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday said the apex bank was duly committed to positioning the economy on the path of growth by supporting small businesses in the country.
Emefiele, represented by the CBN Spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in Abuja at the CBN Special Day at the 13th Abuja International Trade Fair.
The theme for this year’s fair is “Enhancing SMEs in Agribusiness through Innovative Technology’’.
Emefiele said the bank had 15 intervention programmes to support Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agribusiness sector which could be accessed by any Small Medium Enterprises in the country.
“Let me make bold to say that perhaps more than any other institution in the country, the CBN has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the support of SMEs.
“Notably amongst these are the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme fund, N200 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme, N200 billion SME Restructuring and Refinancing Facility and the N300 billion power and airline intervention fund.
“Similarly, there is the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility, Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility, Export Stimulation facility and Paddy Aggregation Scheme amongst others,” he said.
Emefiele reiterated the bank’s commitment to continually reel out proactive policies and schemes to ensure that the Nigerian economy remained strong and sufficient through non-oil exports.
He advised people to open and service accounts with any commercial or microfinance banks, which he said was the only way they could access intervention funds from the bank and expand their businesses.
He underscored that the new Polaris bank, which took over Skye bank, was duly registered and safe to do business with.
Meanwhile, the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ABUCCIMA), Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, urged the Federal Government to continue the pursuit of diversifying the economy from a mono-economy, dependent on oil to other sectors, especially Agribusiness.
“We recognise with great appreciation the genuine efforts of the present administration to improving the economy.
“CBN is now more than ever committed to the regulation, preservation and stabilisation of the integrity of our currency.
“In the area of Development Finance, it has ensured the supply of finance to various sectors of the economy in a holistic manner, making development improve at a faster rate,” he said.
Kayode also commended the CBN, saying that the apex bank had succeeded in ridding the economy of sharp practices by some financial institutions operating in the country.