Senate to question Central Bank Governor Emefiele on intervention projects

Nigerian Senate

The implementation of the various intervention programmes by the Central Bank of Nigeria to stimulate the output of companies in the non-oil sector has become a thing of concern to the Senate, the lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The Senate, therefore, resolved to invite the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to address the lawmakers on the progress the apex bank has made in the use of its intervention facilities to help buoy Nigeria’s economy currently in recession.

The resolution followed a motion by Abubakar Yusuf, PDP-Taraba, who maintained that Nigeria’s drive to haul the economy out of recession and for diversification from the current reliance on the oil sector “will fail in the long term”, if qualified companies do not access the CBN facilities.

Mr. Yusuf said the intervention programmes – to stimulate productivity, enhance value addition and create jobs for Nigerians – were launched in realisation that they were “sure ways” of fighting economic recession through “funding sustainable growth of existing industries of existing industries – some of them inactive”.

Therefore, the senator said, the apex bank, based on Section 31 of the CBN Act, 2007, introduced several intervention funds, including N235 billion fund for manufacturing, refinancing and restructuring facilities of bank loans; N500 billion debenture stock – with N200 billion set aside for refinancing/restructuring of SMEs/manufacturing portfolios, and N300 billion for power/airline projects.

He also mentioned a non-oil N500 billion low interest export stimulation facilities (ESF) 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 the economy.

He said the CBN had encouraged Nigerian companies and exporters to access the facilities through development finance institutions like Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank and other direct applications from commercial banks.

“Yet, very little progress has been made to strongly fund requirements of the of many of such valuable institutions that we expect to push growth of our economy within the growing expectations ignited by the CBN interventions.” said Mr. Yusuf, who alleged that applicants had been disappointed by the CBN.

Following Mr. Yusuf’s presentation, the Senate voted to invite Mr. Emefiele for a briefing on the intervention facilities. The lawmakers also said the governor should come with “the list of beneficiary companies, factories, exporters etc.”

There was no ruling on the date of Mr. Emefiele’s appearance.

The Senate also resolved to ask the CBN to “consider implementing expeditiously the approvals and disbursements of intervention facilities to these companies in the real sector that merit such facilities.”

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