The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Aishah Ahmad, has expressed concerns over the poor repayment of loans provided by the bank, which she noted might affect the sustainability of the bank’s initiatives.
She said this at the 2022 Retreat for the Development Finance Department in Abuja on Monday.
While stating the importance of the interventions to the Nigerian economy, she urged beneficiaries of the CBN loans to pay back to enable others to benefit from the interventions. She said, “In recent years, the efforts and interventions of the CBN have ushered in a lot of growth and impact. It helped us combat extreme poverty, food insecurity and grow the agricultural sector and manufacturing base. But it also brings in considerations and we are well aware of these considerations. Of course, the most obvious is the risk of poor recovery rate on some of the loans we give out, which may be a burden on the institution, but most importantly may affect the sustainability of our initiatives. We also try to empathise with all stakeholders that all of these are loans and not grants. It is important you pay back so that others can also get the same opportunity.”
A booklet distributed during the retreat showed that the CBN had disbursed a total of N9.71tn through various interventions to different sectors. A breakdown showed that the manufacturing/industry sector had the highest allocation of 32.6 per cent. It was followed by energy/infrastructure and agriculture with 23. 1 per cent and 22.8 per cent allocations, respectively.
In his address of welcome, the Director, Development Finance Department, Philip Yusuf, said that the CBN had been at the forefront of food security in the country.
He also said that although some people had raised concerns over the rising food inflation, the CBN interventions had saved the country from famine.
He said, “For those looking at food inflation to discredit the work we have done in the development finance department, I just want to tell them that Nigeria is part of a global financial system and can be prone to global shocks. With the rising price of food, we would have faced severe famine if not for our interventions, and the agric-value chain has witnessed tremendous progress because of our interventions which we believe has set Nigeria on the part of sustainable food sufficiency.”