The CBN highlights the government’s dedication to fostering business growth through SMEDAN’s N19 billion allocation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has highlighted the 238.87% increase in the 2024 budget allocation for the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to N19.79bn, signaling the government’s strong commitment to stimulate the business environment.

CBN’s Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, emphasized this during a keynote address, pointing out that the allocation to SMEDAN has risen significantly from N5.84bn in the previous budget.

Abdullahi-Dattijo emphasized the 2024 budget’s role in laying the foundation for the future by prioritizing critical infrastructure and human capital development.

He noted increased government focus on fostering both foreign and domestic investment, along with the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Additionally, he highlighted the government’s aim to diversify revenue sources, reducing dependence on oil through tax reform measures.

The CBN deputy governor also addressed the need for businesses to adopt strategies to cope with current insecurity issues.

He urged businesses to mitigate risks, engage in advocacy, and adopt international best practices, especially in cybersecurity.

Abdullahi-Dattijo assured that the CBN is working towards market orderliness, transparency, and promoting investments in response to these challenges.

In discussing the evolving economic conditions globally and domestically, Abdullahi highlighted that the specific policies and priorities of the CBN may adapt.

He emphasized the pivotal role of the bank’s strategies in maintaining stability and fostering an environment conducive to business, investment, job creation, and overall economic prosperity.

Meanwhile, the President/Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Ken Opara, reassured the public of the strength and resilience of the Nigerian banking and finance sector.

Despite facing challenges such as non-performing loans, inflationary pressures, foreign exchange scarcity, and cybersecurity threats, Opara expressed confidence in the sector’s ability to weather the storm and contribute to sustained growth and prosperity in the country.

Opara also urged stakeholders to refrain from speculating about the new capital base of banks, emphasizing that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the sole authority constitutionally empowered to make such decisions.

The CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had previously announced a recapitalization exercise for banks to meet the $1tn economy projection by President Bola Tinubu.

 

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