As part of measures to reduce the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed N149.21 billion to 316,869 households across the country.
After meeting required guidelines, the funds were disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to beneficiaries– the first phase of the N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF).
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, applauding the successes, said the scheme and its positive impact on output growth, has prompted the apex bank to double the fund to N300 billion adding that the move to accommodate more beneficiaries and boost consumer expenditure would stimulate the economy.
The second phase of N150 billion is to kick off at yet to be announced date with each qualified household expected to access a maximum of N3 million at five to nine per cent interest rate depending on the loan purpose.
Application for the loan is done online, as part of effort to limit paperwork prospective applicants
The apex bank said loan disbursements were also based on the activity, cash flow, and industry size of the beneficiaries while the loan facility will run for a maximum of three years and repayment will be made on an installment basis.
“Given the impact on COVID-19 on key economic variables earlier mentioned, the fiscal and monetary authorities took unprecedented measures to prevent any long-term damage to the growth prospects of our economy,” he said.
Part of the conditions precedent to approval and drawdown is that households must agree to allow the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) Credit Unit assess their financial records and estimate the impact of COVID-19 on their income. Applicants must also present evidence of opportunity cost and justify their numbers.
Also, all applicants should possess a valid means of identification such as a national Identity Card, driver’s license, voter’s card or international passport, as well as a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Any Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) interested in the scheme can obtain loans ranging from N3 million to N25 million.
However, “there is one-year extension of the moratorium on principal repayments for CBN intervention facilities and regulatory forbearance was granted to banks to restructure loans given to sectors that were severely affected by the pandemic,” the CBN boss said