Banks to Disburse N26bn Contribution to Agricultural SME’s

The Bankers Committee says commercial banks will start the disbursement of the N26 billion equity contributions to Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) in agriculture by end of 2017 third quarter.

The Managing Director of Unity Bank, Mrs Tomi Somefun, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Bankers’ Committee meeting held in Lagos.

She said that the framework for the process of the fund had been developed and finalised, while the body of banks will be the shareholders. The CBN had also created a special export intervention to support it to generate more funds.

She also said that the issues in the past where exporters failed to repatriate proceeds from their businesses would no longer be tolerated, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had agreed that Bankers Committee should henceforth sanction defaulting exporters.

“The sanctions would ensure blacklisting of defaulters such that banks would no longer do businesses with them.” she added.

The Managing Director of the FBN Merchant Bank, Mr Kayode Akinkugbe, said it had recorded stability on further developments in the foreign exchange market.

Akinkugbe said the stability was seen in the foreign exchange and capital markets as well as moderation in the inflation rate. The Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth would be more deepened and robust following the positive developments.

He added that the committee also commended the CBN’s efforts on stability and boosting liquidity in the foreign exchange market. The CBN was steady-fast in its approaches on ensuring stability and that brought the confidence in the market.

“The CBN, notwithstanding its successes, had reiterated its commitment in ensuring constant supply of foreign exchange.” He said.

The Managing Director of the Union Bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa, said that one of the other areas of discussion was process of collateral registry for SMEs.

Emuwa said the collateral registry, which had started, would be an opportunity for small business operators to access funds from bank.

According to him, the process facilitates easy lending to small businesses which have potential to contribute to the nation’s economic growth and development.

He warned Nigerians to desist from investments that promised too good returns, saying such were likely to come up in the last quarter of the year.

The Director (Banking Supervision) in CBN), Mr Ahmed Abdullah, said there was the need to deepen the growth that the country recorded after existing from recession.

Abdullahi said that the committee recognised that the growth was still fragile and more efforts were needed to improve on it.

He also noted that a number of projects had been discussed to ensure that the growth became more robust.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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