Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN

COVID-19: CBN disburses N50bn loans as NECA seeks support for informal sector

* It’s not a grant, but trade facility for SMEs across Nigeria ─ NIRSAL Chief

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank, has begun payment of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), a stimulus package earmarked to support households and MSMEs economically bleeding from the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Mr. Abubakar Abdullahi Kure, Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, who disclosed this at a media briefing to unveil some of the beneficiaries in Abuja, FCT, said 3,256 MSMEs were benefiting from the first batch of the disbursement.

Recall that Central Bank of Nigeria recently launched a N50 billion TCF stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In terms of the mode of payment, Mr. Kure said the disbursement would be a weekly occurrence, saying, the beneficiaries will come from all parts of Nigeria.

“The N50 billion was earmarked by CBN to incentivise businesses and households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have started disbursing the loan, and they will get alert before the end of today.

“I hope it will help you restart your ailing businesses as SMEs. It’s not a grant, but a trade facility to help SMEs battered by COVID-19 come back to operation.

“SMEs are the engine room of growth of the economy. Once you qualify, you would be given. You don’t need to know anyone in NIRSAL Microfinance Bank or CBN.

He said “the documentation process is ongoing. We started with Abuja because of convenience. We have 33 branches. Some of them are not functioning optimally because of the lockdown.

The NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Managing Director encouraged beneficiaries to pay back so that other people could enjoy the business facility.

In the meantime, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called for needed support from the three tiers of government towards the survival of businesses, especially the informal sector.

Timothy Olawale, Director-General of NECA, said Friday, May 1 on the commemoration of the annual International Workers’ Day celebration, on the Nigerian Television Authority network programme which ConsumerConnect monitored in Lagos.

Olawale stated that the informal sector of the nation’s economy has the largest number of entrepreneurs who create employment for millions of Nigerians.

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