Nigeria’s Central Bank commits to support agriculture, SMEs to stimulate economic development

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria says it will support the agriculture sector, the Small and Medium Enterprises, and infrastructure development to stimulate the economy.

The Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Edward  Adamu, said this during a finance seminar, while speaking on the theme, ‘Galvanising development   finance   and   monetary   policy   for growth.’

“It is   pertinent   to   note   that   at the   Central   Bank   of Nigeria, our approach to stimulating economic development   is   three-pronged,   centered   on agriculture,   micro,   small   and   medium   enterprises and infrastructure,” he said.

He noted that the theme   of   the seminar was relevant, considering   the   evolving interconnectedness   between development finance and monetary policy, not only in Nigeria, but in other economies across the world.

The bank, he added, had transcended its core   mandate   of maintaining   monetary, price and financial   system stability, to undertake developmental initiatives with a   view   to   spurring   economic   growth   and   job creation.

He mentioned its efforts at these development finance initiatives had helped   to   accelerate   the   actualisation   of   the Federal   Government’s   economic   diversification programme.

“Diversifying   our   economic   base presents a more sustainable and stable option,” he said.

During the last five years the exports of Nigeria have decreased at an annualized rate of -17.4%, from $122B in 2012 to $46.8B in 2017.

This has been largely due to the drop-in oil prices- which account for almost 76% of total exports- from a high of US$100 in 2012 to lows of US$58 per barrel in 2018.

To drive economic growth, the government has shifted its focus to more promising ventures in agricultural sector and manufacturing sector.

The deputy governor said he had the conviction that focusing the developmental efforts on sectors with inherent potential for growth, employment and accretion to foreign reserves, would enhance the fortune of the Nigerian economy.

To realise economic diversification, CBN has so far increased its lending to the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, through targeted intervention schemes such  as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme and the Real Sector Support Facility.

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