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CBN’s AGSMEIS loan disbursement: North-Central gets N18.29bn

Nigeria’s external reserves plunge to one-year low

Nigeria‘s North-Central geo-political zone received N18.29 billion, the highest, from the N66.18 billion Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), as at September 22, 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said at the weekend.

Following is South-South, which got N13.93 billion; South-West, N12.52 billion, and North-West received N9.12 billion. South-East geopolitical zone got the lowest at N5.44 billion, followed by North-East which got N6.86 billion.

Philip Yila Yusuf, director, development finance, said at a zoom meeting that the regulator was collaborating with the government of the respective states and private sector to grant long-term facility to farmers within agricultural value-chains in a coordinated manner.

He disclosed that the CBN has commenced a large scale food production in select states to ensure food security, especially during the dry season. AGSMEIS is an initiative to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

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The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting last week noted that the various interventions by the CBN to reflate the economy, improve aggregate supply, and drive down inflation. Recent interventions were largely in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, electricity & gas, solar power and housing constructions among others. It expressed optimism that these initiatives will significantly ease the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and set the economy on a path of recovery.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN said after the MPC that so far, total disbursements from the Bank’s interventions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic amount to N3.5 trillion including real sector funds, (N216.87 billion); Covid-19 targeted credit facility (TCF), (N73.69 billion); AGSMEIS, (N54.66 billion); pharmaceutical and healthcare support fund, (N44.47 billion); and creative industry financing initiative (N2.93 billion).

Under the real sector funds, a total of 87 projects that include 53 manufacturing, 21 agriculture and 13 services projects were funded. In the healthcare sector, 41 projects which include 16 pharmaceuticals and 25 hospital and health care services were funded. Under the targeted credit facility, 120,074 applicants have received financial support for investment capital.

The AGSMEIS intervention has been extended to a total of 14,638 applicants, while 250 SME businesses, predominantly the youths, have benefited from the creative industry financing initiative. In addition to these initiatives, the CBN is set to contribute over N1.8 trillion of the total N2.30 trillion needed for the Federal Government’s 1-year Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), through its various financing interventions using the channels of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).