CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, unveiled the banks’ priorities for 2020 at the 54th Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos over the weekend.
According to Emefiele in 2020, CBN will support greater economic growth, price and exchange rate stability, and low inflation through a series of policies that will grow the nation’s non-oil exports.
Working with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), CBN intends to address some of the barriers faced by non-oil exporters in producing goods for the export market. Emefiele said that “we will improve access to the N500 billion facilities designed to support the growth of Nigeria’s non-oil exports. Part of our emphasis will be on increasing export of value-added goods relative to raw materials.”
Firms that will have access to these facilities will be able to get loans at single digits-a business loan that has an interest rate between 0-9% per annum. Subsequently, this will enable them to expand their product lines and improve the quality of their products with the hopes to compete effectively with their peers across the world.
Also, the CBN will improve access to credit for farmers and SMEs by deepening its intervention efforts through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, and the Real Sector Support Funds, amongst others.
With the proposed establishment of a Bankers’ Charitable Endowment Fund, the CBN seeks to fund directly strategic social programs in different states and local communities across Nigeria. The apex bank believes that the fund would spur a trend across other industries to collaborate and work together to better the lives of all Nigerians.
As part of the Bank’s priorities for 2020, Emefiele said that the CBN was determined to maintain its stable exchange policy stance in the near to medium term given the relatively high level of reserves. He explained that it is part of the Bank’s plan to reduce the financial exclusion rate to fewer than 20 percent over the next year.
Recalling the events of 2019, Emefiele revealed that “the positive growth in GDP has been driven by improvement in Agriculture, Oil, and Gas, Manufacturing and ICT.” through CBN interventions.
Emefiele, however, charged Nigerians to “consume what we produce and discourage the propensity to import what can be produced in Nigeria.” He argued that importation of what can be locally produced will not aid the country in job creation or support the growth of local industries.
With these intended policies aimed at protecting the Nigerian economy from global macroeconomic headwinds, a 100 percent growth in non-oil exports revenue is guaranteed when compared to the $2 billion achieved in 2019.
By Treasure Nnabugwu.