The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week announced a new financial instrument which it says will support companies to boost local productivity, create wealth and stave off importation responsible for Nigeria’s foreign exchange crisis,Dailytrust reports.
The 100 for 100 PPP initiative, explained as Policy on Production and Productivity, will empower 100 companies in 100 days, and hundreds more in the coming months, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, announced penultimate Monday.
Speaking at the official launch of the Central Bank Digital Currency at the State House in Abuja, Mr Emefiele said the move is to reverse the country’s over-reliance on imports.
The bank has launched several initiatives in recent years to support Nigeria’s private sector, as it battles an importation-fuelled foreign exchange crisis that has sent the Naira crashing over 30 per cent in the last one year.
Last week, the Apex bank also launched new loans for university and polytechnic graduates who are willing to set up businesses.
Beneficiaries targeting information and computer technology, agriculture and food processing, and creative arts can receive between N5 million and N25 million.
In a two-page notice signed by its Development Finance Department, that was obtained by Daily Trust, the central bank explained that the selection criteria for participation would be premised on the business’ immediate contribution to economic growth, jobs creation, and social impact.
It pointed out that in selecting the companies, evidence -based, transparent and measurable criteria shall be deployed.
According to the central bank, the move was to ensure the operational framework for a robust and transparent process for identifying and selecting high-impact companies and projects under its 100 for 100 PPP.
“These are projects that must catalyse sustainable employment-led economic growth through increased domestic production and productivity in the near term.
“The projects for consideration shall be new projects in existing companies requiring new machinery and other support and must have the greatest potential to achieve significant scale in their in-country production and for domestic consumption and exports,” it stated.
The CBN restated that the broad objective of introducing the instrument was to reverse the nation’s over-reliance in imports, by creating a platform that targets and supports the right companies and projects with potential to immediately transform and jumpstart the productive base of the economy.
Shedding more light on the initiative, the CBN stated that the instrument shall provide naira intervention funding under existing CBN intervention processes and complete foreign exchange funding for new machinery.
“This instrument is for only new projects; will not cover any refinance of existing facilities and will be subject to independent evaluation by international audit firms.
“All intervention under this project will be made public and published in national dailies. The CBN will work with fiscal authorities to facilitate power sector, port and export reforms as well as ease of doing business to improve competitiveness in Nigeria so as to complement and propel this initiative.
“Candidate companies with satisfactory performance are invited to apply through their banks effective November 01, 2021, to the CBN Department of Development Finance, Office of CBN Governor,” it added.
It listed the key areas of focus the financial instrument would fund to include production efficiency and scalability; local content capacity; job creation and human capital development and contribution to economic growth.
In terms of production efficiency and scalability, it stated that the parameters to be considered to include capacity utilisation and scalability. Under here, it stated that the indicators to be looked into are historical financial performance (three years audited report of the company); viability of the business and creditworthiness of its directors.
In the area of local content capacity, the banking sector regulator listed the parameter to be the scale of locally sourced raw materials and the indicators to include more than 50 per cent of raw material input sourced locally as well as that more than 80 per cent of jobs created should be for Nigerians.
Furthermore, in the area of job creation and human capital development, it listed the parameters to include job creation and capacity building, with indicators listed to include job creation, training and skills development.
Similarly, in the area of contribution to economic growth, it listed the parameters to be considered to include impact on key macroeconomic indicators and global export earning potential. In the same vein, the indicators in this area are contribution to GDP potential, share of domestic market, foreign exchange earning potential and ease of exports.
Firms that intend to benefit from the instrument would be scored: Highly satisfactory, satisfactory, less satisfactory and unsatisfactory in their application.
Projects that meet the stipulated requirements by 81per cent to 100 per cent shall be adjudged ‘Highly Satisfactory,’ while those that the stipulated requirements by 61 per cent to 80 per cent would be adjudged to be ‘Satisfactory.’
On the other hand, it stated that projects that meet stipulated requirements by 51 per cent to 60 per cent would be assigned ‘Less Satisfactory,’ and those that meet the requirement by zero to 50 per cent would be assigned the ‘Unsatisfactory’ score.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last week announced the new initiative, saying it was meant to stimulate activities in private sector companies in the country that would be selected.
Emefiele had said with the new initiative, CBN would advertise, screen, scrutinise and financially support 100 targeted private sector companies in 100 days, beginning from November 1.
Under the initiative, the CBN governor had said, a new set of 100 companies would be rolled out every 100 days and their names would be published in the national dailies for Nigerians to see and confirm.
He said the new initiative would be managed by the CBN Development Finance Department, under his direct supervision.
The CBN governor pointed out that the initiative would be the best and most sustainable way to strengthen the value of the naira, insisting that what the country requires is production and more production.
Emefiele explained, “Working through banks, the financial instrument will be available to their customers in critical areas to boost the production and productivity, and to immediately transform and jumpstart the productive base of the economy.
“After these 100 projects by companies in the first 100 days from November 1, we will take the next 100 companies/projects for another 100 days beginning February 1, 2022, and then another 100 companies for another 100 days beginning from May 1, 2022.”
He had said the instrument was part of measures to reverse the country’s overreliance on imports, adding that the country cannot afford to waste its reserves on cheap imports and currency speculators.
The Apex bank listed historical financial performance — three years of the audited report of the company, viability of the business and creditworthiness of directors as some of the requirements to be considered.
It said the projects must have an impact on key macroeconomic indicators and global export earning potential, as well as its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) potential, the share of the domestic market, foreign exchange earning potential and ease of exports.