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CBN okays N200b to back export of oil palm, cocoa, others


CBN office

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Bankers Committee, yesterday rolled out a N200 billion intervention facility to support export of five commodities.

They include oil palm, cocoa, sesame seeds, shea seeds and cashew and are to provide concessionary finance to non-oil exporters, aid non-oil export productivity and create more jobs.

Besides, the apex bank unfolded plans to give financial support to four creative industries for their inherent potential of transforming the nation’s economy.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Kennedy Uzoka, said the CBN would lend to exporter at a single digit interest rate with maximum of 10 years on each of the commodities.

According to him, the fund on the long term would expand the diversification of the Nigerian economy in the non-oil export sector, boost contribution of non-oil exports for sustainable economic development as well as increase foreign exchange (forex) earnings.

The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc., Herbert Wigwe, said the committee had decided to fund the entire value chain in the movie, music, IT and fashion industry in terms of capacity building to ensure that the outputs from these industries were of international standard.

However, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday admitted that the harsh business environment in Nigeria had been made easier through the implementation of key reforms under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

The PEBEC, an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, is aimed at removing bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and make the country a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.

Speaking at the second PEBEC Awards in Abuja, Osinbajo stated that over 140 reforms had been implemented through the scheme.

Also, the vice president applauded the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) for successfully engaging over 450,000 Nigerian youths on skill acquisition training programmes in two years

He said the ITF was already taken the lead in reducing government burden by ensuring that the skills of youths were better harnessed to make the country economically reliant.

He spoke yesterday at the graduation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) organised by the agency in Abuja.

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