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‘100 for 100 policy supports focus on driving innovation’

Analysts at CSL Research have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), saying that the initiative will support the authorities’ focus on driving innovation, especially given that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement presents a good opportunity for the country to improve output growth and boost export earnings. In a note obtained by New Telegraph yesterday, the analysts also pointed out that the introduction of the policy at this time would help to sustain economic recovery following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The analysts stated: “Given the recent impact of the pandemic on many sectors of the economy, we believe the initiative will be helpful. There is no better time than now to boost and sustain output amidst the economic recovery. “CBN, as part of its efforts in encouraging local production, had placed a ban on ac-cess to FX for the import of many products. Also, one of the major policy mantras of President Buhari’s administration has been the diversification of the Nigerian economy, even though that path has remained riddled with poor implementation and execution. More importantly, this should support the focus on driving innovation, as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents a significant opportunity for the nation to improve output growth and boost export earnings.”

The analysts, however, stated that while funding is critical to boosting economic growth, CBN should focus more on factors that may hinder the initiative’s viability. As they put it, “without downplaying the role of funding in supporting economic growth, we think the apex bank should pay bigger attention to the factors that may affect the programme’s viability. Each sector that stands to benefit from the credit facility is embattled with sector-specific and general challenges which are beyond the helm of affairs of the apex bank.

“CBN, which by its establishment is a monetary authority with the mandate to ensure money & price stability, manage foreign exchange and govern the financial system, may not be able to provide sector-specific oversight. In essence, beyond finance, initiatives by fiscal policymakers are required to solve Nigeria’s critical structural problems.” The 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP) initiative, which started on November 1, was introduced by CBN as part of its efforts to support the real sector with financial flows to accelerate local production and reduce the level of the nation’s dependence on imports. According to guidelines on the implementation of the initiative, funded for projects will come from the CBN’s Real Sector Support Facility Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (RSSF-DCRR) or any other funding window as may be determined by the apex bank.

 

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