Director, Other Financial Institution and Supervisory Department (OFISD), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Tokunbo Martins
  • Crownrise to issue N1bn bond for SME funding

Nume Ekeghe

In the light of the consistent decline in inflation, increase in oil prices and improved economic indicators, the Director, Other Financial Institution and Supervisory Department (OFISD), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Tokunbo Martins has said that the central bank has plan to reduce interest rates.

She said this at the Crownrise Finance Plc’s luncheon held in Lagos yesterday, where the company gathered stakeholders to propose the sale of its maiden N1 billion bond aimed at funding SMEs.

Martins said: “The federal government and the central bank are doing everything possible to bring down interest rate. For instance, if you look at the yield for the 20-year FGN bond it has come down from almost 20 per cent to 13 per cent.

“Even the yields on treasury bills is coming down and the reason it is coming down is because the federal government is making a deliberate effort to reduce borrowing internally and increase borrowing internationally for two reasons – because they don’t want to crowd out borrowers here and because it is cheaper to borrow abroad. So I think that is one step in the right direction.”

She further added: “Now the inflation rates have come down for 14 consecutive months currently at 14.33 per cent. So, I am sure those interest rates would come down gradually. I cannot promise it would come down immediately like we all want.”

Speaking further on the proposed bond sale by Crownrise, she said: “I am very excited about this because this is the first feat of this nature in this sub sector of this issuance of N1 billion investment notes by Crownrise finance plc.

“This is an exciting feat and would mark a turning point in this sector because it relates to funds mobilisation, financial intermediation and income generation.”

On his part, the Managing Director, Crownrise Finance, Mr. Babatunde Rufai-Lariba said: “We have decided to rise to the occasion by mobilising the resources that would enable us support the economic players committed to tap into the opportunities for growth of the Nigerian economy, employment generation and prosperity for individuals and family.

“We are about to float a N1 billion investment bond and we are issuing it through a respected issuing house which is Tiddo securities. Through this we would reach out to millions of small and medium businesses pushing to explore the huge opportunities offered by the nation’s economy.