By KAYODE TOKEDE,
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said its Anchor Borrowers Programme has produced 2.1 million metric tonnes of rice, setting the country on the road to rice sufficiency by 2018.
The acting director of Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor in a series of tweets #CBNspeaks said programme has funded local production of imported goods that include wheat, rice among others.
Speaking on CBN’s strategy in the federal government push to get the nation out of recession said the apex bank has intensified the regulation of banks with respect to their foreign exchange practices and number of banks were sanctioned for defaulting.
He said, “Even though the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains at -0.52 in first quarter of 2017, It shows that negative growth is decelerating, this is positive.”
He said CBN has adopted higher prudential standards than obtains elsewhere in the world and Nigerian banks remain resilient in spite of this
He expressed that CBN has resorted to prioritization by selling foreign exchange only to industries that can stimulate growth and create jobs and created a list of items that could be produced locally and excluded them from accessing interbank foreign exchange.
According to him, the CBN has also created a window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), investors and export proceeds, increased sales to Bureau De Changes, and introduced forward settlements.
He said the foreign exchange crisis is basically structural and the CBN has intervened in agric and manufacturing to spur growth and jobs.
He said as soon as the foreign exchange situation improved from higher crude sales as a result of peace in the Niger Delta, the CBN began to vigorously fund invisibles, Basic Transport Allowance, Personal Transport Allowance, school fees and medical fees to ease pressure on the Naira.