By Ali Smart
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday revealed that the federal government frittered away $40 billion from the nation’s external reserves in 10 years due to the taste for imported goods by Nigerians.
The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital at the annual Finance Correspondents and Business Editors seminar.
According to him, “exported raw materials such as crude, wood, cocoa amongst others whose end products are later imported, are being sold cheaply and bought back at more expensive rates.”
The CBN governor, who was represented by deputy governor, Corporate Services, Adebayo Adelabu, said: “Nigerians must by now have been tired of hearing people talk about the potentials of Nigeria, now is the time to live that dream, we can achieve our goals and give Nigerians the chance to live longer, better and more fulfilled lives.”
One way to make this possible, he stressed, is for “Nigerians to patronise locally made products to encourage manufacturers to remain in business.”
The CBN governor also disclosed that in order to make the real sector attractive to the banking industry, the apex bank has injected over N1.3 trillion into the sector.
According to Emefiele, the interventions that culminated in the over N1.3 trillion support for the real sector include “the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), the Agricultural Credit Support Scheme (ACSS), the N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF), the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), the Small and Medium Enterprises Refinancing and Restructuring Facility (SMERRF), the N75 billion Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the N213 billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilization Fund and only recently, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The CBN is also supporting the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) with N50 billion export refinancing and restructuring facility as well as N500 billion as non-oil export stimulation facility.
“If you add all these, it is in excess of N1 trillion that have been deliberately injected into the system to ensure that they are fully resuscitated and they become attractive for commercial banks,” Emefiele said.
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