By BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has created over 7.086 million jobs directly as at August this year through its several interventions in the real sector even as it plans to increase its reach to farmers though the Anchor Borrowers Programme from 200,000 to 500,000.
It said it was going beyond working with only the state governments as it is partnering with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to mobilise 300,000 rice farmers who are expected to add at least two million metric tonnes of rice to the national output of the country.
Speaking at the CBN Day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, CBN’s acting director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okoroafor, said the apex bank’s interventions in the different sectors of the economy was due to the realisation that the effect of its monetary policies would not be felt if some critical sectors did not get interventions.
According to him, there would have been no Nigerian airline flying the skies if not for the N300 billion Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) which has created 7,899 direct jobs and 14,304 indirect jobs.
He noted that the interventions of the apex bank in the agricultural sector through the Anchor Borrowers Programme, N300 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) has seen the creation of 6.833 million direct jobs.
Okoroafor noted that the interventions in the agricultural sector has made the country almost self-sufficient in rice production and is expected to soon commence exportation of rice.
On the power sector, which he said was critical to make the economy work, Okoroafor said the CBN was working with the federal government to ensure the sector works.
This he said was the crux of the CBN intervention through the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund (NEMSF), which according to him has resulted in 1,180mw Capacity Recovery by power generating companies (GENCOs) and over 414,000 units of meters procured.
“We are equally working with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to establish the Accelerated Agricultural Development which aims at the pilot stage to create at least 10,000 jobs in each state of the federation.
“In order to provide access to finance foe MSMES, we have also facilitated the establishment of the National Collateral Registry (NCR) to ensure that MSMES and the millions of budding entrepreneurs across our court can use thirty move able assets to raise finance,” he said.
In his welcome remarks, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI ) vice president, Babatunde Oluwase , commended the government for the approval of the collateral registry act and the credit registry act which is to help small businesses in accessing credit.