Senate Summons Emefiele over Intervention Fund
By Dipo Olowookere
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has been asked to appear before the Senate to make clarifications on the Federal Government’s intervention funds designed to get the economy out of recession.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa titled ‘The need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement its Intervention Funding Programmes to qualified Nigerian Companies and Exporters.’
Mr Ohuabunwa said the Federal Government, aware that the country was undergoing serious economic recession, with factories shutting down with the attendant loss of job creation, decided to set up the intervention fund programme to revitalise the industries.
According to him, to achieve the target, government resolved to activate the Nigerian economy through the introduction of different types of long tenored intervention facility programmes, with the aim of stimulating output production, enhancing value addition and creating employment for Nigerians.
These are initiatives that many Nigerian companies and commercial banks have keyed into with great expectations.
The lawmaker said it was important for the CBN boss to let Nigerians know the progress so far made in the implementation of the programme.
Mr Ohuabunwa pointed out that based on these projections and expectations, “the CBN, in accordance with section 31 of the CBN Act, 2007 has introduced several intervention funds, including N235 billion fund for manufacturing, refinancing and restructuring of facilities of bank loans, a N500 billion debenture stock–with N200 billion set aside for refinancing/restructuring of SMEs/manufacturing portfolios.”
He said further that, “N300billion is applied to the power and airline projects; a non-oil N500 billion low interest export stimulation facilities was also introduced to complement the already existing N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) established in December, 2014 to further assist the sustainable growth of a recessive economy.”
The Senator observed that in the midst of these massive intervention efforts, the CBN has encouraged the local affected companies, factories and exporters to access the facilities through Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) such as Bank of Industries (BoI), NEXIM Bank and other direct applications from commercial banks, yet very little progress has been made to strongly fund the requirements of many of such key institutions.
He said Nigerians were expected to push the growth of the nation’s economy within the expectations ignited by the CBN interventions.
But he lamented that the various companies, factories and exporters encouraged by the CBN to go through the rigorous process of accessing the intervention fund have mostly come out disappointed.