By Favour Nnabugwu
A whopping sum of N9.714 trillion had so far been disbursed through various intervention funds by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According the bank’s Development Finance Department (DFD) Report made available at its 2022 Retreat, in Abuja, yesterday, the Manufacturing/Industry sector had the highest allocation of 32.6 percent.
It was followed by Energy/Infrastructure and Agriculture with 23. 1 percent and 22.8 percent allocations, respectively.
The Director of DFD, Mr. Philip Yusuf in his address, said that the CBN was at the forefront of food security in the country.
He noted that although some people had raised concerns about rising food inflation, despite the bank’s massive interventions in the agricultural sector, the nation would have faced famine, if the CBN had not intervened.
According to him, “In the global environment today, the challenge is on multiple fronts, geo-political instability like the Russia Ukraine war has pushed food inflation to a record high and it has global consequences for countries and citizens across the world. Price volatility across the world has also proven to have dire consequences especially for developing economies.
“The department has been in the forefront of food security drive in Nigeria through different programmes and initiatives.
“Nigeria is a country with a population of over 200 million people with a population growth of 2.5 per cent annually with GDP of $445 billion and the largest economy in Africa.
“With 6 geo-political zones and different languages, Nigeria offers huge opportunity of growth. As such, the task of ensuring food security and stabilizing growth is hardly a work in the park.
“The CBN has been at the forefront of ensuring Nigeria achieves food security in collaboration with other fiscal authorities also stimulating growth in collaboration with ministry of industry.
“Food security in Nigeria has received massive boost in the last 5 years since the CBN intervened in the sector to curb over-reliance on imported goods.
“We have tranversed the length and breadth of Nigeria, empowering farmers and MSMEs in access to Finance and agric-business and also using target credit facility. It became a comfort for households especially during the covid 19.
“For those looking at food inflation to discredit the work we have done in the development finance department, I just want to tell them that Nigeria is part of a global financial system and can be prone to global shocks.
“With the rising price of food, we would have faced severe famine if not for our interventions and the agric-value chain have witnessed tremendous progress because of our interventions which we believe has set Nigeria is on the part of sustainable food sufficiency.”
Also, the Deputy Governor in charge Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Adamu promised greater support for the DFD to further its interventions.
He added that all regions of the country would feel the impact of the interventions.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, urges beneficiaries of the CBN loans to pay back, to enable other to benefit from the interventions.
“The loans which has been disbursed by the CBN through the development finance department has impacted greatly on the sustainability of Nigeria’s agric value chain which was evident in the third quarter GDP report released by the NBS which shows a growth of 29.9 per cent growth from 21 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2021.
“However we urge the beneficiaries of these interventions to pay up the loans so that other people can also benefit.”