Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Godwin Emefele has put in place various intervention initiatives aimed at powering and supporting small and medium scale businesses in the country.
The Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, stated this at an enlightenment fair organised by the CBN, Akwa Ibom State branch for a cross section of business community and entrepreneurs in the state.
Accordingly, Okorafor, who was represented by Veronica Aqua, a director in the department, called on small and large scale entrepreneurs in the state to take advantage of opportunities offered by the bank through its intervention initiatives to boost their businesses.
He explained that the fair was aimed at sensitising the public on the bank’s initiatives, and also intimate the people on how the bank was working towards sustaining the sector and the Nigerian economy.
Okorafor maintained that if small and medium scale enterprises key into the various windows opened by the CBN, it will in turn improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country as well as improve the living standard of the people.
“The governor of CBN in 2014 when he took over the administration of CBN, promised to make the bank a people oriented CBN, he wanted policies of the bank to be able to help put food on the table and also grow the economy.
“The Bank introduced the Anchor Borrowers Programme for certain commodities like rice, wheat, tomatoes and others, so as to curtail the huge foreign exchange being spent on food importation; this policy has helped to create employment domestically.
“The Bank initiated the policy of restricting foreign exchange for the importation of 41 products in which the country has comparative advantage in produce of such commodities domestically. These policies have yielded some positive result thereby helping to get the economy out of recession and restoring the economy on the path of growth,” he stressed.
Participants at the sensitisation programme, who were drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state, were also informed of other intervention measures in the areas of manufacturing, SMEs and others, urging them to avail themselves of such services from commercial banks in order to benefit from the schemes.
Speaking earlier, the Branch Controller of CBN in Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Ogbomon Paul, said the fair became necessary as it seems most of the intervention initiatives of the bank are not known to the public, promising that more sensitisation programmee would be organised for entrepreneurs in the state.
She said: “It’s like our intervention are not being known, we should once in a while call you for sensitisation, but I promise you there is going to be follow up on this.”