Banks to establish Agric/SME fund – CBN

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that the Bankers’ Committee will establish an Agriculture-Small and Medium Scale Enterprises fund in 2017.

Emefiele said this at a news conference on Sunday at the end of the 2016 Bankers’ Committee retreat in Lagos.

The theme of the retreat was: “Economic Recovery: The Role of the Banking Sector.”

Emefiele urged all banks to come up with innovative solutions that would enable the finance sector to play a key role in driving Nigeria’s growth and development.

He said the fund would be drawn from contributions of a portion of Profit After Taxes of commercial banks as a deliberate strategy to support funding and access to finance by SMEs and primary agriculture.

According to him, the modality for the fund, which will operate as an equity fund, will be worked upon by the Bankers’ Committee and to be communicated in due course.

Emefiele said the banking system recognised its critical role as agent for economic development and obligation to contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

Emefiele said: “We will identify opportunities to provide funding and necessary support for agriculture and manufacturing SMEs, including structures and systems to improve the ease of regulatory compliance.”

He said the Bankers Committee would finalise strategy, governance framework, action plan and assign responsibilities for implementation and monitoring for the committees’ 2017 programes.

Emefiele said that would help to achieve the desired results and outcomes.

He said: “The sub-committee on Economic Development and Sustainability will co-ordinate execution of the programme and provide feedback to the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee.

“Based on the feedback, the Central Bank shall release the operational guidelines for the AGSME fund.”

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