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CBN committed to boosting fortunes of SMEs — Official

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it is committed to initiating programmes and policies aimed at supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

Mr Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, said this on Thursday at the apex bank’s special day at the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair.

Nwanisobi, who was represented by Samuel Okogbue, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, said that the CBN had over the years-initiated interventions aimed at boosting the fortunes of SMEs.

According to him, they include the SMEs Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).

“There are also the Youth Enterprises Development Programme and the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS).

“Similarly, the CBN initiated Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs), National Collateral Registry (NCR), the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF),” he said.

He also listed the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) as another of such initiatives.

He said that the apex bank had equally taken steps to create export market particularly for non-oil commodities.

“The CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, in February, initiated the RT200 FX Programme aimed at boosting earnings of stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange.

“Our records show that the initiative has started yielding the expected result.

“Importers and exporters have been taking advantage of the incentive of N65 for every one dollar repatriated and sold at the I&E window.

“They also get N35 for every dollar repatriated for own use on eligible transactions,” he said.

The director said that the apex bank had released N66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).

He said that cumulative disbursement under RSSF was 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,” he said.

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Kadiri Abdulrahman

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