Market News

CBN’s COVID-19 interventions’ implementation falls short of expectations – MAN - PUNCH

JANUARY 18, 2022


The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Covid-19 intervention funds and other similar initiatives of the Federal Government have fallen short of its expectations.

It said the various credit facilities and supports earmarked for its members following the pandemic were not accessible to a significant fraction of its members.

Data from KPMG indicates that at least N1tn was earmarked by the Federal Government to help manufacturing companies cushion the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the apex body of manufacturing companies in the country said while the Federal Government rose to the occasion by providing buffers to assist manufacturers through grants and soft loans, many of its deserving members could not access the earmarked funds.

The Director-General, MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, made these disclosures during an interview with our correspondent.

Ajayi-Kadir said despite its request for collaboration with the CBN to interrogate the process and improve the access of manufacturers to the intervention funds, adequate machinery had not been put in place to help a considerable fraction of manufacturers to access the various facilities and support programmes.

He said, “It is quite commendable that the government rose to the occasion by providing a buffer to assist manufacturers through grants/soft loans to reduce the impact of the pandemic on businesses. The interventions which were in different facets include; the N50bn target credit facility for affected households and small and medium enterprises; N100bn intervention fund in healthcare loans to pharmaceutical companies and healthcare practitioners intending to expand/build capacity; N1tn loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors; and also provision of grants assistance for R & D in the pharmaceutical subsector for research into the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.”

He added, “The major concern is that implementation of the interventions fell short of manufacturers’ expectations. Most of our deserving members couldn’t access the funds and our request for collaboration with the CBN to interrogate the process and improve the access of manufacturers is yet to be heeded. Bonafide manufacturers, who are struggling as a result of the disruptions caused by COVID-19, should be specifically targeted for support and we stand ready to support the action of the CBN in this direction,” he added.

The MAN DG also spoke about the need to increase forex access to manufacturers.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Coleman Wires and Cables, Mr George Onofowokan, in a chat with our correspondent, corroborated MAN’s position, saying the majority of the manufacturers had yet to access the CBN intervention funds and other facilities.

“Nobody got a direct intervention from Federal Government, but indirectly the Federal Government helped. The interest rate was reduced, the moratorium was increased by one year by the CBN; of course, that helped some businesses during the crisis. Nobody received a grant directly but invariably, the government helped,” Onafowokan added.

In the same vein, the President, Premium Bread-Maker Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Onuorah, said despite the several calls for interventions from the Federal Government, none of its members received any form of grant or loan to help cushion the adverse economic consequences of the pandemic.

“We did not benefit anything from the Federal Government. In a series of interviews we held post-Covid we have always called on the Federal Government to see what they can do to help us so that the industry does not go extinct. If the industry goes extinct, you know the attendant problem of unemployment and exacerbation of insecurity in the country,” he said.


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