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‘How CBN injected N5tr to support businesses, economy’

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Government collectively mobilised and injected N5 trillion to support households and businesses in the face of daunting economic challenges triggered by COVID-19, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced yesterday.

Speaking at the second National Risk Management Conference in Lagos, with the theme: “Risk Management in the Promotion of Financial System Development for Economic Growth”, he said the apex bank deployed more than N3.5 trillion, about 4.1 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to critical sectors of the economy- agriculture, manufacturing, electricity, and healthcare.

The funds were deployed to stimulate and help the economy recover from the deep shock. In the real sector, he said the apex bank has released the sum of N66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture. Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stands at N2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.
Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Director, Financial Markets Department, Mrs. Angela Ade Sere-Ejembi, disclosed that under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), the apex bank disbursed the sum of N20.17 billion to 14 projects in healthcare, manufacturing, and services, bringing the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N93.39 billion to 62 projects.

He said that in the healthcare sector, N4billion was disbursed to two healthcare projects under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), bringing the cumulative disbursement to N130.54 billion for 131 projects, comprising of 32 pharmaceuticals, 60 hospitals and 39 other services.

Under the Export Facilitation Initiative (EFI), the apex bank funded several commodity projects in the non-oil export segment for value-addition and production to the tune of N3.24 billion, aside the N50 billion disbursed through the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM).
In the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector, the CBN supported entrepreneurship development with the sum of N39.26 million under the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), bringing the total disbursement under this intervention to N332.43 million.
Under the Intervention Facility for the National Gas Expansion Programme (IFNGEP), the Bank disbursed N1 billion to support the adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the preferred fuel for transportation and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the preferred cooking fuel.??

“Under the Intervention Facility for the health sector, over N107.7 billion has been released to support 114 healthcare projects, including six (6) greenfield (new) and 108 are expansionary (brownfield). The projects financed included cancer treatment centres, medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, dental services, eye clinics, and other healthcare 22 service providers,” he said.

According to him, the CBN has also created new business opportunities, financial products and services, foster greater inclusion using digital channels, support cross border payments for businesses and firms, and provide a reliable channel for remittance inflows into the country, the e-Naira was deployed.

Emefiele said that business transactions and financial services are becoming more digitized and reliant on the internet.

“Alongside this, the extent of technology risks and the level of sophistication of cyber-attacks are rapidly expanding. Threats such as ransomware, targeted phishing attacks etc have become prevalent and could destroy the trust placed on financial institutions and other financial institutions. This development has demanded that financial institutions, including OFIs, strengthen their cyber resilience and take proactive steps to secure their critical information assets to ensure their safety and soundness,” he said.

He said the potential of technology in risk management is vast, not only for the automation of tasks, but increasingly as a tool for making business decisions as well.

He said the application of big data analytics and artificial intelligence to assess and predict human behaviour, for instance, can provide great value to businesses in terms of reducing risks. “Considering these issues highlighted, there is a need for risk managers to be quick in identifying and responding to cyber risks,” he said.

On its part to address some of these issues, he said the CBN issued a risk-based cybersecurity framework and guidelines for other financial institutions (OFIS), which represent the minimum requirements to be put in place by all OFIs.

“This is in addition to a series of fintech-based policies and guidelines including the regulatory sandboxes, open banking, and cybersecurity, among others, released by the Bank to strengthen cyber security risk management in its determination to ensure a robust regulatory landscape without stifling innovation,” he said.

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