The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday gave out N23.2 billion in loans to 28 beneficiaries, as it inaugurated its new, “100 for 100” Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP).
The PPP was initiated by the apex bank to encourage productivity and jump-start the productive base of the economy.
The ultimate goal of the policy is to reverse the nation’s reliance on imports by creating an echo system that targets and supports the right companies and projects.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, speaking at the inauguration, said that the initiative was designed to stimulate investments in Nigeria’s priority sectors with the core objective of boosting production and productivity.
Emefiele said that the initiative would aid efforts to stimulate greater economic growth and create economic opportunities.
He added that the programme would create access to cheap credit for both new and existing productive ventures .
“Under this initiative, every 100 days, manufacturers in critical sectors that seek to engage in greenfield projects, or in expanding their existing facilities will have access to cheaper forms of credit at single digit rates as well as foreign exchange to procure plants and machinery .
“This programme has potential to significantly accelerate manufacturing output, promote further diversification of our economy and enable faster growth of non oil exports, ” he said.
He added that the PPP initiative would help to reduce over-reliance on imports, and stimulate productivity in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, services, trade-related infrastructure and renewable energy.
Emefiele said that 100 eligible companies in priority sectors would be selected to receive funding from the apex bank every 100 days beginning from November, 2021.
He said that 28 companies were found eligible and selected for funding in the first instance, with projects valued at N23.2 billion.
Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, commended the CBN for the initiative.
Ngige said that programme was a proof of the apex bank’s commitment to spearheading initiatives that would spur productivity and economic growth in Nigeria.
” Productivity forms the basis for everything we are doing. To come up with such an initiative that benefits all key sectors means that the CBN has keyed into the fact that we need to produce, ” he said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said that the policy was coming at the right time, when economic diversification and local production of finished goods and services was needed.
In an address delivered on his behalf by Dr. Hadiza Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Funds Office, Mustapha commended the CBN for living up to expectations in formulating interventions that can help grow the economy.
“Over the years, the CBN has shown the capacity in modelling and pushing through programmes and initiatives that will facilitate the realisation of its core mandates of ensuring financial system stability and promotion of economic policies and strategies, ” he said.
On his part, Mr Albert Wigwe, the Managing Director of Access Bank, pledged the support of Deposit Money Banks to the initiative.