Nume Ekeghe in Abakaliki
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said that the central bank’s development finance activities are focused on stimulating the economy.
Emefiele said this in a keynote address presented on his behalf by the Director, Monetary Policy Department, Mr. Moses Tule at the on-going 22nd edition of the Finance Correspondents and Business Editors Seminar holding in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The CBN governor said the developmental initiatives became necessary given that Nigeria is a developing economy with the inherent developmental challenges.
Furthermore, Emefiele highlighted the interventions of the central bank such as the N220billion fund for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), among others.
He however, explained that these interventions do not intend to crowd out financial institutions in credit delivery, but rather act as incentives to propel lending at reasonable rates to the real sector.
Emefiele urged financial journalists to endeavour to report the Nigerian economy in positive light and also urged members of the private sector to invest in the agriculture value chain.
Also in his opening remark, the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor extoled the patriotism of the financial media in their reportage.
On his part, the CBN Director, Research Department, Dr. Uwatt B. Uwatt stated that the major challenges inhibiting the growth of the real sector particularly agriculture, manufacturing and solid minerals subsectors was low level of investment in research and development.
He noted that the lack of research and development made the process of production inefficient and more expensive.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Ebonyi State Engr. Dave Umahi, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the State, Hon. Augustine Nwankwagu said Ebonyi State will collaborate with a private investor to ensure that Niger Cem comes back on stream. Umahi said NigerCem when fully operational will no doubt provide employment opportunities for its citizens and contribute to the economy of the state and the country.