The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed a total of N23.20 billion to 28 companies whose projects were selected for funding in the maiden batch of its newly introduced “100 for 100 Policy for Production and Productivity (PPP)” initiative.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, explained that the primary objective of introducing the initiative was to ensure that priority was accorded to companies that displayed verifiable progress in the bank’s import substitution and job creation drive.
Emefiele said the funds disbursed to beneficiaries of the 100 for 100 policy, which he stressed were loans, followed due screening of the applications received. He said the projects, valued at N23.20 billion, comprised 14 in the manufacturing sector, 12 in the agricultural sector, and two in the healthcare sector.
He assured all current and prospective operators in the industrial sector that the CBN was ready to continue to provide the needed support, financial and otherwise, to fast-track the development of the sector.
Emefiele said the central bank would continue to provide all the needed support for the importation of plants and equipment to actualise investments in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects.
He said for this first cycle of the 100 for 100 policy, which ended yesterday, 243 applications valued at N321.06 billion, spread over key sectors, including agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and services sectors, were submitted on the portal.
Emefiele said after much engagement, 79 applications valued at N121.87 billion, were received from banks for projects in six sectors, namely agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and services sectors. He said the requests were carefully screened and scrutinised against a set-out selection criteria, and were categorised into production efficiency and scalability; local content capacity; job creation and human capital development; operating sector relevance; and potential contribution to economic growth.
But only 28 companies with projects that clearly articulated their proposals were selected for funding, he said, adding that the CBN intended to revisit the applications that were declined with a view to understanding areas of their shortcomings and enabling more companies to benefit from the initiative meant to stimulate manufacturing output in the country.
Emefiele said, “With the significant opportunities in the real sector, there remained sufficient room for additional investments in the various sub-sectors and I would like to urge potential investors to take advantage of the various CBN intervention programmes and schemes, as well as other financing options out there, to invest in key sectors of our economy given the potential gains that could be generated from them.”
Stakeholders, including Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the beneficiary companies, all commended the apex bank and expressed confidence in the ability of its initiatives to boost domestic production as well as diversify the economy.
Emefiele also said the initiative was designed to stimulate investments in Nigeria’s priority sectors with the core objective of boosting production and productivity, which will aid efforts to stimulate greater growth of the economy and create employment opportunities.
He said the programme had the potential to significantly accelerate manufacturing output, promote further diversification of the economy, and facilitate faster growth of non-oil exports.
Essentially, he said the PPP would help to reduce the country’s over-reliance on imports, and stimulate productivity in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, extractive industries, logistics services, trade-related infrastructure, and renewable energy.
The CBN governor added that in line with the administration’s policy focus to stimulate domestic production and productivity, the central bank had continued to introduce various policy measures, in the form of interventions, to stimulate low-cost and sustainable financing to priority sectors and segments of the economy.
He said the new framework being fine-tuned would be market-driven and would support companies that accord utmost priority for local production and job creation drive.
The central bank also said it was working to stimulate non-oil export to boost foreign exchange earnings in the country.