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Sunday, August 14, 2022

CBN Advises Manufacturers Against Taking Dollar Loans

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THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised manufactures whose revenues are in naira against taking dollar loans.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed this over the weekend during a facility tour of  Tolaram Group projects and Lagos Sea Port under construction.

Tolaram Group manages the Lagos Free Trade Zone. Emefiele said the apex bank will continue to provide naira funding, and advise that where the revenue stream is in naira, dollar loans should be avoided.

“So, for any entrepreneur that wishes to do business in Nigeria, we will provide naira funding and will always advise that particularly if your revenue stream is in naira, such company should avoid taking dollar loans.

Take cheap naira loans at single digit interest rate with two years moratorium,” he said. Emefiele said the CBN will continually encourage people to take advantage of such loans to drive industrialisation in Nigeria and get a manufacturing business back alive again.

He said the CBN has provided N100 billion intervention fund to Tolaram Group under the Differentiated -Cash Reserve Ratio or through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme, which represents only 10 per cent of the N1 trillion, which is about $2 billion, project embarked by the company.

“You can see we have sown a seed and we have also given support through making foreign exchange available for them to bring in the equipment to get the Lagos Port operation to work well.”

The CBN boss said: “The Tolaram Group has clearly demonstrated that it is one of the largest manufacturing companies with 19 factories in the country. We will not rest on our oars to the extent that we must make sure that whatever you need either Naira loans through our interventions or dollars to import your equipment and plants and the rest of them, we will continue to accord you priority.”

Emefiele said the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Limited (InfraCorp), Lagos state government and Federal Government will collaborate and begin engagement meant to ensure easy movement of goods out of the Lagos Free Trade Zone. The N15 trillion InfraCorp is co-owned by the CBN, the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“The InfraCorp luckily is chaired by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The InfraCorp board has been formally constituted, there is a CEO in InfraCorp and as soon as we leave this meeting, I will be calling on InfraCorp to begin engagement,” he said.

“I will also be involved in engaging the Lagos state government, as well as the Federal Government as well as the Federal ministry of works see what can be done on evacuating goods out of Lagos, as well as decongesting the traffic for people living around Lekki port axis. I want to give assurance that this is something that would be dealt with. This would be a middle-to-long-term plan. We are happy that this port infrastructure is here and will improve ease of doing business, reduce congestion at the Lagos Tin Can and Lagos Apapa ports.”

Continuing, he said the apex bank would work with the Lagos Free Zone by having a dedicated export desk that would make it easy for goods to be exported out of the Lagos Port.

“That is a very essential thing that we need to deal with, because again talking in a very selfish mode, we need a foreign exchange.  If we export, we earn foreign exchange, and I am going to start working with them to ensure that we designate the Lagos Free Zone as an export zone,” he said.

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