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Published On: Mon, Oct 9th, 2017

Banks to commence N26bn Agric SME fund disbursement this quarter

FELIX OLOYEDE

Deposit money Banks (DMBs) will begin the disbursement of the N26 billion intervention fund set aside for the development of the agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) before the year runs out.

The fund would be disbursed to Agric SMEs as entity contribution and the disbursing lenders would also provide mentorship and hand-holdin

Emefiele, CBN Governor

g to benefiting ventures, said Mrs. Oluwatomi Somefu, Managing Director, Unity Bank at the t Bankers’ Committee meeting of the Central bank of Nigeria, held in Lagos last week.

She added that the framework for the disbursement of fund would be put in place this quarter.

“The Bankers committee can confirmed that this is being finalised and disbursement will commence by the end of this quarter 2017,” she explained.

Mrs Somefu also disclosed that the Committee has resolved to blacklist exporters who fail to repatriate their foreign exchange.

This was collaborated by Mr. Isaac Okorafor, acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, who stated defaulting exporters risk different sanctions including blacklisting by all commercial banks in the country.

The Committee also expressed delight in the country’s exit from recession, but cautioned the economy was still fragile, said Ahmed Abdullahi, CBN Director, Banking Supervision.

He noted that the introduction of the Exporters’ and Investors’ forex window has helped stabilized the country’s forex market and brought vibrancy to the equities market.

According to him, banks have started the disbursement of the N500 billion apex bank’s export intervention fund, which is different from the Export Expansion Grant of the federal government.

“This one is a CBN initiative to boost exports, so that exporters can access the fund just like the Commercial Agricutural scheme or the Anchor Borrowers Programme. This one is that exporters can access the fund in order to boost their business,” the CBN Director of Banking Supervision explained.

Meanwhile, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, Managing Director, Union Bank said SMEs operators can now take advantage of the national collateral registry to access funds from commercial lender.

He further stated, “There are processes in place to facilitate small businesses, which in turn will contribute to employment generation.”

 

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