By Merit Ibe
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN )to ensure that the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) and Development Banks (DMBs) grant transparent and effective access of its intervention funds to manufacturers.
The Association made the remark in respect to the N1trillion Manufacturing and Import Substitution Facility, the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEs), the 100 billion Health Care and Pharmaceuticals Support Funds and N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).
MAN Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, who made the call at the weekend in a statement, commended the CBN for creating several development funding windows with “single digit” interest rates to support real productive businesses including manufacturing, to assuage the high cost manufacturing environment and improve the competitiveness of Nigerian manufactured products, funding at liberal lending rate (single digit).
He however, lamented that manufacturers still suffer the dual challenges of scarcity of investible funds and high lending rate.
The MAN boss explained that the Association observed through feedbacks from members and interaction with the CBN on several occasions that these facilities and funds have not been adequately accessible to manufacturers due mainly to the prevarication of the PFIs and MDBs.
“MAN, while acknowledging the excellent initiative of the CBN in setting up the N1 trillion COVID-19 stimulus facility for manufacturing and import substitution, observed that most of its members who applied were not able to get it.”
“According to the CBN, only 76 companies have received N300 billion, which translates to 30 per cent, in one year. Intriguingly, according to our members, the banks are claiming that they have not received the framework for the administration of the facility from the CBN.”
He decried the poor implementation , which is hindering the attainment of the objectives of these funds.
“No doubt, development funds are critical to driving manufacturing investment and by extension, production. This is because the single digit interest rate for developments fund far contrasts the more than 25% rate charged on commercial banks’ lending.”
MAN called for specific guidelines and timelines for the effective and complete disbursement of the intervention funds, adding that there should also be periodic report of the status of implementation to the CBN to ensure progressive monitoring.
The association suggested that PFIs and DMBs who fail to diligently and timely disburse all the funds allocated should be sanctioned.
As the umbrella organization of MAN, the association indicated its interest and solicited CBN’s consideration to be part of the monitoring process.