• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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CBN’s Infraco engages governments on Apapa decongestion

CBN resumes dollar sales to banks left out of Tuesday deals

Apapa and Tin can road users will soon breathe in fresh air as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s newly established Infraco plans engagement with the Lagos State and the Federal Government about decongesting traffic in the area.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN disclosed this at the weekend during an inspection of projects at Lagos free zone.

“Infraco is chaired by the CBN. It has formally constituted its Board. As soon as we leave this meeting, I will be calling on Infraco to begin engagement. I will also be involved. We will be engaging the Lagos State government as well as the Federal Government to see what can be done, not just about evacuating, but evacuation out of Lagos,” Emefiele said.

“The entire idea is that with this Lagos free zone port, we should be able to see a total decongestion of Apapa and Tin Can port purely from the standpoint that it would take the traffic away from Apapa. And we are also afraid that the only single road that we have, which is the Lagos-Epe-Lekki road, is already congested with traffic, and is going to worsen even with Dangote’s refinery.

“How do we make sure that we decongest the traffic for those who live within the Lekkì Epe? We will work with Lagos State and we will work with the federal government, I am assuring you that this is something we are going to do.”

Emefiele said N100 billion from CBN intervention under the Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (D-CRR) or through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Guarantee loan has been injected to the Tolaram group, a holding company headquartered in Singapore with diversified business interests in consumer goods, fintech, infrastructure and industrials.

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“This is a project of about $2 billion, about N1 trillion and we have done about N100 billion, which is 10 percent. You can see we have sown a seed and we have also given support through making foreign exchange available for them to bring in the equipment to get this port operation to work well,” the CBN governor said.

“We will support any entrepreneurs who wishes to do business in Nigeria, we will provide Naira funding and also advise that if your revenue is in Naira you go and take cheap Naira loan instead of dollar, 10 years loan, two years moratorium and single digits interest rate maximum 9 percent.

“This is the good one we have always encouraged people to take advantage of, because it is available. It is what will help drive industrialisation for Nigeria. It will help bring our manufacturing sector back to life again,” Emefiele said.

He noted that the Toleram group has made immediate plans to evacuate their products through the port to Ikorodu, Festac and Warri.

“I believe with this port we are going to be engaging them. I’m happy the customs and the Nigerian ports authority are involved. We would seek to also work with the Lagos free Zone by having a dedicated export desk that would make it easy for goods to be exported out of this port. That is a very essential thing that we need to deal with, because again talking in a very selfish mode, we need a foreign exchange. If we export, we earn foreign exchange, and I am going to start working with them to ensure that we designate the Lagos Free Zone as an export zone,” Emefiele said.