THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said it is ready to start the Export Facilitation Initiatives (EFI) targeted at boosting commodity exports in the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy.
This is contained in the circular published by the apex bank on Friday, 14th June, in line with the approval by the bankers’ committee at its 343rd meeting.
It stated that the commencement of the EFI is to complement the government’s efforts to foster growth in the non-oil sector of the economy.
As highlighted by the CBN, the focal commodities for value chain development would be cocoa, cashew, palm oil, Shea and sesame seed.
The apex bank stressed that the commodities are to be funded under the approved guidelines of the Agri-Business small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), The Non-oil Export Stimulation Facility (NESF), and the Real sector Support Facility-Differentiated Cash reserves requirement (RSSF-DCRR) in line with the approved limits in the EIF Funding Framework.
The CBN had earlier explained that top on the agenda is to halt smuggling and dumping of banned products into Nigeria.
According to the bank, local manufacturers will be encouraged to produce more of these commodities so as to enhance foreign exchange earnings. Also, it is a move to protect the domestic health and safety of the nation’s economy, rescuing it from becoming a dumping ground for imports.
The CBN circular showed that the funding shall attract 9per cent interest rate cut across all categories in cocoa, oil-palm, cashew, Shea and sesame seeds productions and exports. The tenors vary for all categories of facility A and B while the funding shall come from AGSMEIS, NESF, and DCCR.
According to the bank, large and mid-sized players (facility A) for land acquisition and cultivation of Cocoa will get 7 to10 years grant. Large and mid-sized players (facility B) for milling and refining capacity will get 5 to 7 years grant while small holder farmers (under cluster via aggregation) will get 5-7years grant among others.