Nigeria: CBN Set to Credit More Applicants for N50 Billion COVID-19 Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria headquarters in Abuja.
9 June 2020

Abuja — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday assured all successful households and small and medium scale enterprises (SME) applicants that have submitted their account details for its N50 billion COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) that they would be credited within 48 hours.

CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, in a statement yesterday, urged all successful applicants whose accounts have not been credited, to visit the website of NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank (www.nmfb.com.ng) and input their account details.

He, however, urged any successful applicant that "do not receive a credit alert within 48 hours to call mobile number: 09010026900 for resolution."

Okorafor also said CBN had waived the requirement for the provision of guarantors by households and SMEs applying for TCF.

According to him, the bank's move is to address the concerns of those who had fulfilled all requirements for the loan but were yet to have their accounts credited, particularly as other persons had begun to receive credit alerts.

Okorafor reiterated that funds being disbursed were loans and should not be taken as grants.

He, therefore, urged eligible households and small businesses to take advantage of the palliatives to revive their businesses and contribute to steering Nigeria away from recession.

CBN had in March unveiled guidelines for the implementation of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the CBN guidelines, those eligible beneficiaries of the fund are households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19 and existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of activities adversely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, on behalf of CBN, last month commenced the disbursement of the fund to beneficiaries.

"The facility is available for service providers in the health sector, trading and all those businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is to provide cash flow which has been disrupted by the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.

The product is intended to provide liquidity for businesses.

"This initiative is to provide liquidity and allow the economy to normalise. Businesses are hurt. People are hurt. People are no longer staying on jobs.

"By the end of today, they should be able to receive alerts. The idea is to launch the products so that people will know that we have started disbursement," the Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Mr. Abubakar Kure, had said.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said so far a total of N107.45 billion out of its health sector intervention fund, the agricultural and manufacturing sectors as well as the households and SMEs funds had been disbursed.

"The committee recognised that under the N100 billion healthcare sector intervention fund, the bank has approved and disbursed N10.15 billion for some projects, for the establishment of advanced diagnostic and health centres and the expansion of some pharmaceutical plants for essential drugs and intravenous fluids.

"As part of the N1 trillion intervention targeted at the agric and manufacturing firms, the bank has further disbursed N93.2 billion under the real sector support fund to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors. This consists of over 44 greenfield and brownfield projects.

"The bank has also approved N10.9 billion to 14,331 beneficiaries under the N50 billion targeted credit facility for households and SMEs out of which N4.1 billion has been disbursed to 5,860 successful beneficiaries. The committee directed management to reach out to the banks to encourage them to disburse the funds to the priority sectors of the economy, so as to stimulate aggregate demand and create more jobs in the country," he had added.

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