Manufacturing companies have said they cannot access loans at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s 5% lending rate under its intervention scheme.
According to them, the loans have structural framework problems and are almost never accessed in banks at five per cent. They added that banks were more open to giving manufacturers loans at their official market rates.
Mrs Ijeoma Oduonye, told PUNCH that her firm’s attempts to receive the intervention funds through one of its approved commercial banks had failed. “We tried to work through one of the banks, but it didn’t materialise, now we are talking with another bank. It is a sector intervention fund that was going for 9% before but now they brought it to 5%. “I do not understand the details from their end. I don’t know the regulation between the bank and the CBN. But the bank told my firm they won’t be able to process it. Ordinarily, commercial banks would prefer you use their funds, it is at a higher interest rate.”
Also, according to the Sectoral Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria’s Gas users and the Executive Director of Haffar Industries, Michael Ola-Adebayo, the structural framework of the CBN intervention leading has complexities that limit manufacturers from accessing them through the designated commercial banks. He said, “We have not been getting the loans. Has any manufacturer been borrowing this money? The commercial banks have not provided the facility to borrow money at five per cent, or even 10 per cent.
CBN agreed to leave interest rates at five per cent per annum for critical sectors and manufacturing industries until March 2023- punch. This decision increased the benchmark interest rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent. When contacted, the Director of Corporate Communicatios, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, disagreed with the position of the manufacturers.
According to him, the intervention scheme for the industrial sector and others has disbursed almost N1 trillion.