Sunday, 15 January 2017

Cocoa exporters cry out over stimulation funds

Non-Oil Exporters under the aegis of Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria(CEAN), have cried out over the non-disbursement of the N500b stimulation fund approved last year by the federal government. They urged relevant authorities including the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)and NEXIM, to ensure a speedy disbursement of the export facilities to assist the non-oil exporters and boost the revenue base of the government.
The CBN had on February 2, 2016, released N300b export stimulation fund to Nexim for lending to qualified exporters through their commercial banks at single digit interest rate. Consequent upon the release, the designated commercial banks mandated the Non-oil exporters to apply for the fund which they did.

Addressing reporters in Akure, the Ondo state capital at the weekend, the National President of CEAN, Pius Ayodele, lamented that after one year, the CBN/Nexim was yet to disburse the fund to their commercial banks for onward lending to the exporters.

“As Cocoa Exporters, we are also involved in the exportation of ginger, cashew nuts and sesame seeds. Our members have contributed immensely to the economic growth of Nigeria through the generation of non-oil export foreign exchange proceeds into the economy”.

“Since the federal government’s focus and objectives are targetted at reducing our economy’s dependence on oil revenue, and strenghtening our balance of trade particularly from non-oil resources due to the recent crash of the global price of oil and dwindling foreign exchange flow into the economy, this scheme must not failed,” he urged.

Ayodele noted that borrowing at 27 per cent for export trade was retarding the growth of export business in Nigeria, especially when they are competing with foreigners who are borrowing at below five percent in their home country.

While appreciating the federal government and the CBN for the effort, the cash crop exporters called for immediate implementation of the scheme in order to facilitate more revenue to the coffers of government through non-oil resources.

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