As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria has released N253 billion to 548,345 recipients.
Osita Nwanisobi, the bank’s acting director of corporate communications, revealed this on Thursday at the bank’s special day at the current 42nd Kaduna International Trade Fair, noting that the beneficiaries included 470,969 families and 77,376 SME’s.
Nwanisobi, who was represented by Ahmed Mohammed Wali, Branch Controller, Kaduna, said the bank reduced the interest rate on CBN intervention loans from 9% to 5% to encourage more lending, and that the NIRSAL microfinance bank initially created a N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for affected households and SME’s.
“Approximately 29,026 beneficiaries have accessed N111.7 billion under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme,” he explained (AGSMEIS). So far, 7,057 beneficiaries have benefited from the National Youth Investment Fund, including 4,411 individuals and 2,646 SMEs. The Creativity Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) has also granted financial facilities to 341 people in the film, television, music, and software development industries.”
As of April 2020, around 3.1 million farmers had benefited from the anchor borrowers scheme, according to Nwanisobi.
“The Anchor Borrowers Program was able to provide intervention facilities to 3,107,949 small holder farmers who cultivated 3.8 million hectares of land,” he explained.
“As a result, we encourage Nigerians, particularly women and youths, to participate in our array of intervention programs and take advantage of schemes such as the ABP; Targeted Credit Facility (TCF); Commodity Development Initiative (CDI); Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI); Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Facility (MSMEDF); and the Agric-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Development Facility (MSMEDF); and the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Facility (MSMED
The CBN, according to the director, would continue to intervene in crucial sectors of the economy, particularly in agriculture.
Agriculture, manufacturing, SMEs, infrastructure, creative industries, health, and other sectors to support the country’s robust economic growth and development.
He went on to say that the apex bank was working with the fiscal authority to improve the investment climate in order to attract FDI.