CBN, banks to create special funds to support aviation, media
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with commercial lenders are planning special facilities to support the revamping of the aviation and media industries in the face of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the two sectors.
At the end of the Bankers’ Committee virtual meeting on Tuesday, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said the facilities will enable the sectors to adequately address the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sectors.
In his address to the virtual meeting of the Bankers’ Committee Emefiele tasked bank chief executives and their representatives to do all within their powers to support airlines in the country, noting that such support was critical to helping the industry recover from the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor also urged the banks to support the efforts of the media industry to cope with the lingering pandemic, in order to avoid massive job losses in the industry.
However, Emefiele did not disclose what form the support for the two sectors of the economy is going to take, sources said the CBN may establish a special fund for the aviation and the media industry to access credit at single-digit interest rate.
The CBN had in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, announced a N1.2 trillion intervention funds to support critical sectors of the economy.
About N1 trillion was set aside to support local manufacturing sector and to boost import substitution while the balance of N100 billion was reserved to support the health sector in equipping laboratories and enhancing research to produce vaccines and test kits
The regulatory bank also in March 2020, created a N100 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Emefiele said it would soon meet with the Chief Executives of multinational companies in the country to discuss the revamp of the export sector.
Emefiele said the regulatory bank was ready to encourage the revamp of Nigeria’s export sector through deliberate policies that would boost investment and job creation.
The governor said the CBN plans to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure the facilitation of a reboot of the Nigerian export market.
He said that the country had no choice but to diversify its economic base away from heavy reliance on crude oil.
According to him, the proposed meeting is expected to come up with a roadmap on how best to revitalize the export sector in order to earn foreign exchange for the country, as well as generate jobs for millions of Nigerians.
Also, on Tuesday the CBN directed banks to submit the names, addresses and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of exporters that have defaulted in repatriating their exports proceeds back to the country in line with the foreign exchange regulations.
Emefiele, who issued the directive to banks chief executives at the August Bi-monthly virtual meeting of the Bankers’ Committee, said the regulatory bank would sanction defaulting exporters.
The CBN stressed that its Foreign Exchange Manual provided that all exporters should repatriate export proceeds back to the country to support the local currency and boost the economy.
The regulatory bank had earlier issued a circular prohibiting banks from opening trade finance documents, Forms M for importers who route their bills through third parties.
Though the regulatory bank said the move was to “forestall over-pricing and/or mispricing of goods and services imported into the country,” from available information, the CBN may also be targeting criminals and corrupt government officials using the process to carry out money laundering activities and fleecing the country of huge resources.