BANKERS Committee on
Thursday inaugurated a board
to facilitate equity funds for the
growth of agriculture and small
businesses in the country.
Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, the
Director, Banking Supervision,
Central Bank of Nigeria CBN,
made this known to newsmen
at the end of the 331st bankers
committee meeting in Abuja.
The media briefing was attended
by Mr Emeka Emuwa, the
Managing Director, Union Bank,
Mrs Hamda Ambar, Managing
Director FSDG Merchant Bank
and Mrs Mobola Faloye, the
Executive Director, Standard
Chartered Bank.
Abdullahi said the committee
had set aside a pool fund of
N26 billion for the equity fund
that would support Small and
Medium Scale Enterprises in the
country.
He noted that the fund would
be increased subsequently as
entrepreneurs came up for equity
funding; and more funds would
be accrued as banks got their
annual statements of accounts
approved.
He named the members of the
board to include the Managing
Directors of Guarantee Trust
Bank, Zenith, Access, UBA, First
bank, and the Directors of banking
supervision and development
finance of CBN.
“If you recall, all the banks are
supposed to set aside a portion
of their profit which will be made
available for equity investment
in agriculture and small and
medium scale enterprises.
“So the board was inaugurated
today as well as the Project
Review Committee of that fund,
so basically the fund is ready to
start implementing.
“The members of the Project
Review Committee include, the
Managing Directors of Guarantee
Trust Bank, Zenith, Access, First
bank, FCMB, Unity and Sterling
bank.
“And over the course of the next
few weeks, there will be more
communications as to how to
access these funds.
“So, entrepreneur, small
businesses and agriculture, the
opportunity is there for equity
funding for your businesses,’’ he
said.
According to Abdullahi, the
committee noted a turnaround in
the economy and there is a strong
belief that the second quarter may
have seen the economy emerging
out of recession.
He said that although the figures were yet to be released
by the National Bureau of
Statistics NBS, the major non-oil
sectors of the economy which is
believed to drive the economy
witnessed very positive growth.
“If you look at the confidence
of the economy, the stability
in the capital and foreign
exchange market, you will
know that progress has been
made in getting the economy
out of recession.
“This is a good development
as it is going to have elaborate
effect on the banking system
as well as other sectors of the
economy.
“And so, the bankers
committee generally
expresses its delight with this
development on the economy.’’
He said that small business
owners interested in accessing
the equity fund should
approach their banks and apply.
He explained that the
banks would do some sort of
preliminary review and pass the
request onto the project review
committee of the bankers
committee for consideration.
On the Foreign Exchange
market, Abdullahi said the
committee expressed delight
at the actions by the CBN,
especially in setting up an
investor and exporter window
that have increased the volume
of trading in the country.
“So far, the volume of the
trading that has gone out in that
window is about four billion
dollars, that is actually quite a
good number and it shows that
the banks have really done a lot
of rallying.
“It shows that the banks
have been resilient, and have
contributed largely in bringing
in many FDIs investors to come
into the market.
“So, we think that things are
really going to be looking up
and we are hopeful that we are
going in the right direction.
“And also that we will
eventually get to a stage where
the rate truly converges which
is where we want to get to. NAN

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