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CBN increases AGSMEIS beneficiaries to 14,638 and 250 SMEs

BY David Oladele

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CBN Governor
Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the number of beneficiaries under the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) Loans to 14,638 applicants.

The CBN disclosed this in a statement on its last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings, saying it has disbursed a total of N3.5 trillion in interventions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as of September 22, 2020.

The MPC noted the various interventions by the CBN to reflate the economy, improve aggregate supply and drive down inflation.

Read part of the statement below:

Recent interventions were largely in the areas of Manufacturing, Agriculture, Electricity & Gas, Solar Power and housing constructions among others.

It expressed optimism that these initiatives will significantly ease the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and set the economy on a path of recovery.

According to the MPC, “So far, total disbursements from the Bank’s interventions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic amounted to N3.5 trillion including:

  • Real Sector Funds: N216.87 billion
  • Targeted Credit Facility: N73.69 billion
  • AGSMEIS: N54.66 billion
  • Pharmaceutical and Health Care Support Fund: N44.47 billion
  • Creative Industry Financing Initiative: N2.93 billion

Under the Real Sector Funds, a total of 87 projects that included 53 Manufacturing, 21 Agriculture and 13 Services projects were funded.

In the Health Care sector, 41 projects which included 16 pharmaceuticals and 25 hospital and health care services were funded.

Under the Targeted Credit Facility, 120,074 applicants have received financial support for investment capital.

The Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) intervention has been extended to a total of 14,638 applicants, while 250 SME businesses, predominantly the youths, 5 have benefited from the Creative Industry Financing Initiative.

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In addition to these initiatives, the CBN is set to contribute over N1.8 trillion of the total sum of N2.30 trillion needed for the Federal Government’s 1-year Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), through its various financing interventions using the channels of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).

The MPC observed the huge injection of monetary and fiscal stimulus into the global economy, noting its medium-term inflationary potential.

In major advanced economies, inflation mostly remained below their 2.0 per cent longrun objectives, as the recovery of both global aggregate demand and supply remained stalled.

Across the group of Emerging Market and Developing Economies, price development remained mixed, reflecting the diverse structure of these economies.

The exchange rates of EMDEs continued to be under pressure as global capital flows were subdued, reflecting investor’s preference for gold as a safe haven.

With the unprecedented and coordinated injection of liquidity by central banks and fiscal authorities globally, the risk of another financial crisis post-COVID-19 can no longer be overlooked as this may likely crystalize into a double deep global recession when central banks across the globe move to normalize monetary policy.

The MPC noted the continued weakness in economic activities as indicated by the Manufacturing and non-Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Indices (PMIs), which remained below the 50-index point benchmark.

In August 2020, the Manufacturing and non-Manufacturing PMIs were 48.5 and 44.3 index points, respectively, compared with 42.4 and 43.3 index points in July 2020.

This was attributed to slower growth in production, business activities, new orders, supply delivery time, employment level, new export orders and raw materials and input prices.

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Similarly, the employment level index component of the Manufacturing and non-Manufacturing PMIs in August 2020 was 44.6 and 44.3 index points, respectively, compared with 40.0 and 41.1 index points in July 2020.

The Committee was, however, optimistic that with the easing of the lockdown and gradual resumption of economic activities, the PMIs will improve in the short-to medium term.

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