The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) are making N550 billion available for lending to non-oil exporters.
The loan will come at nine per cent interest rate and is expected to help the investors export more commodities, earn more foreign exchange from export proceeds and strengthen the economy.
Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said N500 billion of the fund is from the Export Stimulation Facility while the balance of N50 billion is provided by the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) Direct Intervention Fund.
He spoke after a meeting with non-oil exporters, producers and processors in Lagos, Friday night.
The framework for the disbursement of the fund, he said, would be released in the next one week by NEXIM Bank and the CBN Development Finance Department.
Emefiele said that exporters will send in their request and when they get the fund, their operations will be monitored to ensure there is no undocumented export.
He said that funding remains a major problem that every business faces and funding at concessionary pricing will help them carry out more export volumes.
The CBN boss said that in the last two years, the country’s revenue has dropped significantly prompting the CBN and the Federal Government to consider revenue sources outside crude oil to boost its foreign exchange earnings.
The scheme will be driven by Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE) principles. He said the CBN engaged exporters and identified various products in the non-oil sector- cocoa, cashew nuts, palm produce, sesame seeds, solid minerals and rubber to benefit.
“In order to create jobs for our people, there is a need for us to advance further to value addition and begin to talk about processing of exportable items like rather than export raw cashew, we are thinking of exporting processed cashew. Rather than export raw cocoa, we are thinking of giving support to companies that process cocoa to cocoa butter and cakes and all that,” he said.
“All transactions that will be done and that will receive funding from the CBN will be for documented export transactions and we are also saying that before those facilities are provided to them, these exporters will commit through their banks.”