The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated its commitment to boosting small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Speaking at CBN Special Day at the ongoing 34th Enugu International Trade Fair on Friday, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Dr Abdlmumin Isa, recalled that the apex bank in line with its developmental function stipulated in the CBN Act, 2007, as amended, champions the promotion of quality exports through its Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE) concept, aimed at making Nigerians consume what they produce, add value to such products and export the surpluses.
Dr Isa, who was represented by Esu Imo, an Assistant Director in Communications Department, CBN, noted, “The PAVE option of the CBN encourages backward integration and akin to the export-led industrialization policy of South-East Asia, which transformed the economic fortunes of the Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.
According to him, the regulatory bank has continued to support various interventions aimed at stimulating production and productivity across the real sector.
“Under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), over 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on 6.02 million hectares of farmland across the country were sponsored by the Bank.
“The Bank also supported the take-off of eight (8) new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services under the Real Sector Facility bringing the Bank’s intervention to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services and 13 mining sector projects.
“In the payments system space, the CBN continues to seek creative ways to ensure that Nigeria takes full advantage of its opportunities and benefits.
“This led to the launch of the eNaira in October 2021 aimed at broadening the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking inter-governmental and social transfers.
“Similarly, the CBN in collaboration with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), recently launched the National Domestic Card Scheme – the first in Africa. This is expected to not only lower operating costs for banks but reduce the huge foreign exchange costs associated with operating foreign card schemes.
“On the recent redesign of some denominations of the Naira, I wish to reiterate that the policy, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, was in the overall interest of our country and the economy, in addition to aligning with the international best practice.
“Overall, the policy has started strengthening our macroeconomic fundamentals, moderating inflation, upscaling our financial inclusion rate, led to relative stability in the exchange rate and supported the efforts of our security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in the country.
“It is pertinent to note that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the growing surge in online transactions. We, therefore, urge Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels, such as eNaira, USSD and other internet banking facilities, as we gradually march towards the alternative payments policy regime, which is the direction the world is going. We cannot afford to be left behind in the global financial ecosystem.
In his speech, the President of Enugu Chamber Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) Jasper Nduagwuike said CBN has remained committed to her participating and observing her Special Day in the Enugu International Trade Fair.
“It is highly commendable that the current Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria has deemed it necessary to sustain the use of this platform to disseminate information and create wider awareness of its operations for better understanding of its financial and monetary policies and to demystify the “cult” perception regarding CBN and its operation, yet maintaining her unique existentiality and essence.
“We want to thank Dr. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor and all the staff of the CBN for this pragmatic initiative.
“I have no doubt that this forum will offer veritable opportunity for the various publics to have direct interface with the bank and for the public to share thoughts and exchange views on the bank’s operations and polices, especially on issues bordering on the current CBN naira redesign and cashless policies.
“While we commend the CBN for its policy measures to rebuild stronger business confidence and ensuring stability in the economy particularly in the financial/banking sector, we advise the CBN to utilize the period of grace for full implementation of the naira redesigning and cashless policy as directed by the supreme Court of Nigeria, to trash all issues that could lead to continues pressure and panic amongst the general public,” the ECCIMA boss concluded.
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