The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said more than N400 billion worth of assets had so far been registered under the collateral registry by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in five years.
Emefiele said this while reeling out the policy road map for his second tenure of five years in Abuja on Monday.
He explained that the National Collateral Registry was set up by the CBN, which supported the passage of legislation governing activities of the Registry and the Credit Bureaus.
According to him, these measures have helped to encourage the flow of credit to SMEs by allowing them to provide movable assets as collateral in order to obtain funds from banks, compared to the previous process which requires that they provide fixed assets.
He said the activities of the credit bureaus had also helped to reduce the risk encountered by banks in lending to businesses, as it helped to identify credit worthy borrowers.
“We also sought to improve access to credit for MSMEs given the critical role they play in supporting the growth of our economy.
“Poor access to credit has been highlighted as a significant constraint to the growth of MSMEs.
“Moreover, given the impact of the recession, it was more important to restart the flow of credit to MSMEs to enable them engage in productive activities that would support growth.
“As part of efforts to support this objective, we created a N220 billion MSMEs funds, which has been critical in supporting the growth of MSMEs in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.’’
Emefiele said that these two initiatives contributed to improving Nigeria’s Doing Business Scorecard in the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Rankings of 180 countries.
According to him, Nigeria moved up by 24 points from 169 to 144.
On Payment System programme, the CBN governor disclosed that more than 40 per cent of eligible Nigerians in 2015 lacked access to financial services but the bank had embarked on a couple of steps to improve access to finance.
He said the CBN achieved that through initiatives such as the Shared Agent Network Facility (SANEF) and the inauguration of the bank’s policy on Payment Service Banks, which enabled non-Banks to provide limited financial services.
“We sought to encourage the use of technological tools in improving access to finance for people who live in under-served parts of the country.
“We also set up a payment services management department solely dedicated to enabling the build-up of a robust payment systems infrastructure, while seeking to contain the risk to the financial system that could emerge from the use of digital channels.’’
He said as a result of CBN’s efforts, the total volume of retail electronic payments had witnessed a threefold increase over the last five years.
According to him, the new financial access points are being created in parts of the North East and North West due to measures deployed by CBN to extend financial services to the under served people in rural communities.