CBN grants industries $2.83bn in two months to boost economy

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has disbursed $2.83 billion to critical sectors of the economy in December and January, it said in a statement on Thursday, in an attempt to kickstart a struggling economy.

The nation’s economy is wallowing in its first recession in a quarter of a century, hamstrung in part by low exports of the crude oil on which the government depends for revenues and bringing in foreign currency.

CBN said it favoured the manufacturing sector, raw materials and agriculture sectors when disbursing the dollars in December and January, hoping to create employment and spur wealth creation among Nigerians.

The raw materials sector received $609 million in December and $228 million in January. Manufacturing got $53 million in December and $71 million in January, the CBN statement said.

The statement cited by Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor said CBN is determined to continue to ease the foreign exchange pressure on critical sectors,

Foreign reserves have risen 8.39 per cent since the beginning of the year, mirroring a rise in global oil prices, but remain far from a peak of $64 billion in August 2008.

The Naira hit a new low on the black market on Wednesday. That spurred the head of the bureau de change association to urge members to help stabilise the currency, the continued weakness of which has become a “major concern” for the CBN.