Prof Gregory Ibe
The Chancellor of Gregory University, Prof. Gregory Ibe has challenged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele to publish the names of South-East people that have benefited from the CBN loans to develop their farm and other businesses.
Prof. Ibe reacted to a recent press release issued by the central bank where the bank claimed that South Eastern people do not request for loans to develop their farming and other businesses. Describing the statement as blatant storytelling, Ibe stated that the Emefiele-led central bank aimed at discrediting the Igbos in Nigeria.
He said the CBN was pushing out such narrative, “So that people will think, when injustice is perceived, that South Eastern people are to blame for not benefiting from CBN loan.” He explained that as long as the Igbo businessmen and women are put through struggle to get loan for importation of goods, prices of goods will continue to be on increase.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele
He stated that if Emefiele really call himself an Igbo man, he should publish the names of South East businesspeople he has succeeded in helping to secure the CBN loans. He cited example with his Songhai farms, which he explained, applied for loan to develop their Songhai initiative but their request was not granted.
“We used bank of industry, bank of Agriculture, went round and round, nobody gave us loan. And finally, all his pronouncements for the money they kept for Healthcare institutions, everything we applied through banks met their water loo, and ended in that place. So, trying to blame South-East people, who are more business oriented and more business inclined, amounts to playing to the gallery,” Ibe said.
He said that his organisation is ready to present documentations to prove what he is saying, adding that South Eastern people are more inclined to do any agricultural venture to make sure that they feed their people.
“We are ready for it, in fact when I got the news, I sent it to some of the bankers who have denied us loan, and they said we should not mind CBN, that they are playing to the gallery, so that people will think, if there is perceived injustice to SE, they will be the ones to blame”, Professor Ibe stated.
He referred to a particular agricultural programme, which CBN introduced to help agricultural businessmen and women, “initially, they were giving between N50 million to N100 million to applicants. But by the time the people I taught entrepreneurship, agricultural businessmen from the south East and students from the universities in the South East, who have designed their thinking, prepared, and decided to get the loans to go into their different ventures, they reduced the money to N5 million.
“I know that N5million can start up something, but it shouldn’t be the money for that type of agric venture that is aimed growing food for the family, but for proper commercial farming. Even then, all those people that applied, I want them to tell us how many people they granted the loans, the y should try to publish it for South East, let them also request to know how many South East people that applied and were not given,” Ibe added.
He decried a situation where CBN policy will restrict South Eastern businesspeople, who have between 30 to 40% of the money in Lagos, more in Aba and Onitsha, will be barred from exporting goods or sending more than ten thousand dollars for their export transaction because they don’t have bureau de change business, “and these are the people that have chains of businesses, scattered all over Nigeria.”