According to Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the bank has disbursed about N3 trillion to households, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), smallholder farmers, pharmaceutical companies as buffer against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emefiele disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Arise Television on the sidelines of the recently-concluded Nigerian International Partnership Forum in Paris, France.
Emefiele pointed out that the job of the CBN was to complement the efforts of the fiscal side, emphasizing that it had never happened in the country where the central bank would lend funds for a tenure of 10 years with a two-year moratorium, like the CBN had done in recent times.
“And I can tell you this, between 2020 and now, our data shows that we have disbursed at least N2 trillion, almost N3 trillion in loans to households, to MSMEs, to smallholder farmers, to pharmaceuticals and health institutions.
“We have also given these funds to some of our large agricultural companies that want to get back again to business, to manufacturing companies who are accessing long term 10 years loan with two-year moratorium with single digit rate. I have data that shows we are playing our part,” he said.
He maintained that the insinuations that there was no alignment between Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary policies were baseless, stressing that on Covid-19 for instance, the CBN had been working with the finance ministry to reduce the devastating impact.
“If you ask the Finance Minister, we are always in contact and she would tell you that there are no issues about the relationship between the monetary and fiscal authority. So, when people say there is no synergies, again, I wonder where that is coming from.
“When the COVID-19 hit, Mr. President tasked the Finance Minister and I to work together to bring us an immediate response and I went back to the Bankers’ Committee and we came up with immediate response.
Emefiele expressed joy that Nigeria now produces and consumes its own rice, stressing that the wheat programme had also taken off with expected yield very encouraging.
Emefiele disclosed that he was always in contact with the minister of finance, budget and economic planning, insisting that there are no issues concerning the relationship between the monetary and fiscal authorities. “So, when people say there is no synergy, again, I wonder where that is coming from,” he said.
“We must diversify the economy into the non-oil sectors. We must deepen our economy so that we can truly position ourselves as a country that is self-sufficient,” he explained.