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470 households, 77,000 SMEs gets CBN’s COVID-19 loans

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has as part of its responses to the COVID-19 pandemic disbursed N253 billion to 548,345 beneficiaries comprising 470,969 households and 77,376 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Nigeria.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi disclosed this while speaking at the CBN’s special day at the ongoing 42nd Kaduna International Trade Fair.

Mr. Nwanisobi said the bank also reduced its interest rate on CBN intervention loans from 9 to 5 percent and initially created a N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for affected households and SME’s through the NIRSAL microfinance Bank.

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Represented by the Branch Controller, Kaduna, Ahmed Mohammed Wali, Nwanisobi said the fund has since been increased in order to accommodate more beneficiaries, boost consumer expenditure and positively impact output growth.

He said: “As part of the Bank’s responses to the pandemic in Nigeria, the CBN approved a one-year extension of moratorium on principal repayments for its intervention facilities; in addition to granting Regulatory Forbearance to banks to restructure loans given to sectors that were severely affected by the pandemic.

“We equally raised the Loan-Deposit Ratio (LDR) from 60 percent to 65 percent, to encourage more lending by banks. The Bank also reduced the interest rate on CBN intervention loans from 9 to 5 percent and initially created a N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for affected households and small medium enterprises through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.

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“The fund has since been increased in order to accommodate more beneficiaries and boost consumer expenditure which should positively impact output growth. This resulted in the disbursement of N253.4 billion to 548,345 beneficiaries comprising 470,969 households and 77,376 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).”

He noted that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme had provided intervention facilities to 3,107,949 small holder farmers cultivating 3.8 million hectares of land while about 29,026 beneficiaries have accessed N111.7 billion under the Agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).

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He then assured that the CBN will continue to sustain its interventions in the critical sectors of the economy, particularly in Agriculture, Manufacturing, MSMEs, Infrastructure, Creative Industry, Health etc; to stimulate robust economic growth and development of the country

He stated that the bank is collaborating with the fiscal authority to improve the investment climate towards attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) adding, “We are aware that infrastructure is one of the major keys to unlocking the full potential of Nigeria; hence, the establishment of the N15 trillion Infrastructure Corporation (InfraCorp) to help in fixing the challenges in Nigeria’s infrastructure.”

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