The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed N149.21 billion to 316,869 households to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1st News reported that the funds, which were given out in the first phase of the N150 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF); were disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank after the beneficiaries met set guidelines for the intervention fund.
This pronouncement was made by the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, at a media interactive programme in Lagos on Saturday, March 20.
He said the resounding success of the scheme and its positive impact on output growth; has prompted the apex bank to double the fund to N300 billion.
The second phase of N150 billion is to kickoff at yet to be announced date with each qualified household; expected to access a maximum of N3 million at a five to nine per cent interest rate depending on the loan purpose.
Emefiele, who was represented by Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Edward Lametek, said the move to accommodate more beneficiaries; and boost consumer expenditure would stimulate the economy.
He said that in line with the growing need to go digital, the application process is done online; and also requires limited paperwork from 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 also 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.
The CBN boss said there is a 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.