The Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said the Nigerian economy could recover earlier than expected.
The Committee, which gave the review at the end of its 331st meeting in Abuja, said the economy was steadily pulling out of recession and that indices on non-oil sector growth in the second quarter of the year showed the economy could recover earlier than expected.
The CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, told reporters that the CBN realised about $4 billion in May from the export and investors’ window it created in the foreign exchange market.
Mr. Abdullahi, who was accompanied to the briefing by the Managing Director of Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, said the fund was part of efforts by the banks to join forces with other key interest groups to accelerate the country’s economic recovery.
Mr. Emuwa said the committee was generally happy with the progress in the economy, saying the positive development was capable of generating a ripple effect on banking and other sectors of the economy.
To further provide access to funding of small-scale agricultural activities, he said the board of the Agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Fund was inaugurated, along with a project review committee, to facilitate the disbursement of N26 billion equity fund for agriculture and small businesses in the country.
“Those interested in accessing funds or looking for equity to support their agriculture or small and medium enterprises, SMEs, should approach their banks now and apply to enable them conduct preliminary reviews before passing such requests to the project review committee,” he said.
The board consists of the Managing Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Zenith and UBA, along with CBN Directors of Banking Supervision and Development Finance.
The project review committee comprise the Managing Directors of FCMB, Unity, and Sterling banks.