A total of 28 companies have received N22.3billion the Central Bank of Nigeria official launch of the 100 for 100 Policy for Production and Productivity (PPP), an intervention of the Apex Bank designed to stimulate investments in Nigeria’s priority sectors.
The Fund which has the core objective of boosting production and productivity, which will aid efforts to stimulate greater growth of the economy and create employment opportunities was launched by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele in Abuja Monday.
Under this initiative, every hundred days, manufacturers in critical sectors that seek to engage in greenfield projects or in expanding their existing facilities will have access to cheaper forms of credit at single-digit rates, as well as the foreign exchange to procure plants and machineries.
Emefiele disclosed at the launch that specifically, “for this first cycle of the initiative ending today, 243 applications valued at N321.06 billion, spread over key sectors such as agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and services sectors were submitted on the portal.
“After much engagement, 79 applications were received from banks, valued at N121.87 billion, for projects in six (6) sectors, namely agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and services sectors. The requests were carefully screened and scrutinized against a set-out selection criterion, which is categorized into production efficiency and scalability; local content capacity; job creation and human capital development; operating sector relevance; and potential contribution to economic growth.
He said following the due screening of the applications received, 28 companies with projects that have clearly articulated proposals were selected for funding. “These projects, valued at N23.20 billion, comprise 14 in the manufacturing sector, 12 in the agricultural sector, and 2 in the healthcare sector.
“When fully operational, these projects are expected to create over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs across multiple sectors of the economy, as well as generate close to US$125.80 million in foreign exchange earnings. It is important to note that five (5) of the selected projects are greenfield projects seeking to exploit the huge opportunities in key sectors of our economy.”
He said the Programme has the potential to significantly accelerate manufacturing output, promote further diversification of our economy and enable faster growth of our non-oil exports.
More specifically, the PPP will help to reduce the over-reliance on imports as well as stimulate productivity in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, extractive industries, logistics services, trade-related infrastructure, and renewable energy.
Speaking on the application that was not successful, Emefiele said: “For the ones that have not qualified, we will go back and review the applications and deal with the issues to enable them to qualify.”
He also disclosed that the Apex bank will engage with commercial banks on the non-oil stimulation facilities in the coming days because there is a need to look into export stimulation in Nigeria.
“We have to make sure that all the transactions are properly recorded to boost export earnings in the country,” He added.
There are no limitations about the sectors. It only just happens that they brought just a few of these sectors.
The governor further hinted that the selection of subsequent beneficiaries will be rolled over every 100 days with new sets of 100 companies and details of these companies will be published in the major national dailies.
Under the Programme, eligible applicants will be required to submit their applications to their banks, after which, a notification is submitted on a dedicated portal – https://100for100ppp.ng, which has been created to ensure transparency and allow applicants to track the status of their applications.
Emefiele said for those seeking to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the Bank will continue to provide all the needed support, both in Naira and dollars specifically for the importation of plants and equipment to actualize these investments.
He said: “It is pertinent to point out that the foreign exchange support will be solely for the importation of spares, plants and equipment needed to increase production capacities of these companies.
“Let me emphasize that our mission through this initiative is to ensure that priority is accorded to companies who display verifiable progress in our imports substitution and job creation drive. Consequently, we would soon unveil a new FX bidding regime that is market-driven and supports companies that accord utmost priority for our local production and job creation drive.”
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige in his remarks said: “Unless the country gets to be productive, all we are doing comes to nothing.
“All the CBN innovative finance has paid a lot of attention to agriculture because it is a low hanging fruit and it is in agriculture that you have real production.
“These initiatives align with the federal government drive to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. So we have no choice but to stimulate productivity programme in the country.”
He called for sustained collaboration between the Monetary and the fiscal authorities noting that the economy will suffer the most if they fail to synergize to move the economy forward.
The Chairman of the Body of banks CEOs and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe in his remarks said: “We take our responsibility to economic development very seriously because Nigeria has for its benefit, a very young population.
“COVID-19 has proved to us the need to come together to support production, increase and reduce import.”
He said the CEOs will do all they can to support the policy
The CBN Governor presented symbolic cheques to the seven (7) participating financial institutions whose customers have been selected as pioneer beneficiaries under the PPP’s first cycle.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) received a total of N1.1bn. Fidelity bank received N5.7bn. Keystone bank, N998million. Stanbic IBTC N3.3bn. Union Bank, N2.3bn. Wema bank N450million and Zenith bank, N9.2bn
One of the beneficiaries, the Chief Operating Officer of Harvest field and Agro-processing ltd, Adedolapo Adeyemi said: “With the new finance, we will be able to increase production by 60 per cent and employ additional 300 people.
“This is a breakthrough for us and we are really happy and we hope to take the Agriculture sector forward.”
Emefiele urged the beneficiaries to judiciously use the funds for the purpose for which they had indicated in their applications, as independent monitors and evaluators will be engaged to regularly follow up on the progress of the project, with particular focus on the socio-economic impact of the financed projects on their immediate community and the economy in general.