Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FG sets N300bn intervention fund to stimulate non-oil export

To address the challenges of inadequate funding as well as maximize the potentials in the non-oil sector, the federal government says it will commit N300billion in special intervention fund to boost non-oil exports in Nigeria.

A communiqué issued at the end of a non-oil export conference conveyed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, noted that the intervention fund is aimed at addressing the dearth of funding from banks for non-oil exports

CBN, in the communiqué, explained that the intervention fund would be given to exporters at an interest rate of not more than nine percent.

“The CBN will also make N300bn as export stimulation intervention fund available to exporters at not more than nine per cent.”

Earlier, Governor Godwin Emefiele observed that the country might be heading for tougher times because it recorded a decline of $6.14bn (N1.2tn) in non-oil exports receipts, from the $10.53bn recorded in 2014 to $4.39bn in 2015.

He blamed the decline on the low level of export loans from the banking sector. He said available statistics showed that while credit to non-oil exports had been declining in the last five years, while credit to the economy had been on the increase.

The CBN governor, who put the total credit to the non-oil export sector at 0.6 percent of domestic credit to the economy, explained that such level of funding could not unlock the potential of the non-oil sector.

He said, “It has been observed that while credit to non-oil exports is declining and currently at an average of 0.6 per cent of total domestic loans to the private sector in the last five years, the domestic credit to the economy has been on the rise.

“The low level of export loans has no doubt also contributed to a large extent to the decline in non-oil export revenue receipts from $10.53bn in 2014 to $4.39bn in 2015.”

Lamenting the steady decline of credit to the non-oil export sector, Managing Director of NEXIM, Mr. Robert Orya, charged banks to increase lending to non-oil exporters, so the country can maximize the potential of the sector.

Orya said the dearth of funding from banks for non-oil exports was a major reason for the N300bn intervention fund set up by the CBN.

The non-oil export conference organized by the CBN in collaboration with NEXIM, with theme: ‘Strategies for growing Nigeria’s non-oil exports, organizers say is part of measures aimed at increasing the sector’s contribution to economic growth.

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