The Development Finance Advocates (DFA), a network of individuals who believe and support the adoption of development finance strategy in growing the Nigerian economy has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)for effectively performing its statutory oversight functions on the activities of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Microfinance Bank) as regards the disbursement of funds meant to catalyse the flow of finance and investment into fixed agricultural value chains.
The CBN,through its Development Finance Department (DFD), has undertaken several financial intervention initiatives over the years, covering some major strategic sectors of the economy.
These interventions include 37 development finance initiatives, across critical sectors of the economy namely; Agriculture, Aviation, Creatives, Export, Health, Information Technology, Manufacturing, MSMEs, and Power.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the CBN introduced the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) through NIRSAL Microfinance Bank. This is aimed at cushioning the impact of the pandemic on businesses and households. The TCF is a N50billion stimulus package designed to support households, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.To accommodate more beneficiaries, an additional N50 billion has been added making it a total of N100 billion.
Also notable is the Agric Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme (AGSMEIS)which was introduced in 2017 by the Bankers’ Committee in a bid to support and complement the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting Agri-businesses/Small and Medium Enterprises as a vehicle for sustainable economic development and employment generation. So far, this initiative has been impactful with testimonials from beneficiaries.
Commending the apex bank for ensuring transparency of the process, Executive Director,Development Finance Advocates (DFA),Mrs. Bolaji Oyekanmi said: “The CBN has clearly demonstrated that it is totally committed to funding developmental projects to drive economic growth in the country. It has been consistent in ensuring that these initiatives, not only succeed but achieve the set objectives of impacting the lives of individuals and businesses.”
Oyekanmi further stated, “it is quite reassuring for us, as we continue to monitor the implementation of these initiatives across board.We have been following developments as its concerns NIRSAL Microfinance Bank and other partnering banks under the supervision of the CBN in adhering to strict compliance governing the disbursement of the funds. The way and manner this has been done so far is worthy of commendation.”
She further stated that, in situations where infractions were reported, the CBN,has been effective in using the instrumentality of its mechanism,to swiftly investigate and resolve issues, thereby sustaining stakeholder’s confidence in the initiatives.