The Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance bank, on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has started the disbursement of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to the beneficiaries.
The facility is a stimulus package which was introduced by CBN, to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on households and MSMEs.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Mr Abubakar Kure, at a media briefing during the official flag-off of the disbursement in Abuja to some of the beneficiaries. The 3,256 MSMEs are among the first batch of the beneficiaries of the disbursement.
The NIRSAL Microfinance boss said, ‘’The facility is available for service providers in the health sector, trading and all those businesses that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic’’
‘’The idea is to provide cash flow which has been disrupted by the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic. The product is intended to provide liquidity for businesses’’, he said
Kure also said that ‘’This initiative is to provide liquidity and allow the economy to normalize. Businesses are hurt. People are hurt. People are no longer staying on jobs’’.
‘’By the end of today, they should be able to receive alerts. The idea is to launch the products so that people will know that we have started disbursement,’’ he said.
However, the bank boss warned that the funds were not a grant, but must be paid back to the bank so that other people can enjoy the facility.
He added that the documentation process which is ongoing, started in Abuja because of convenience as the 33 branches are not functioning optimally because of the lockdown.
It can be recalled that as a fallout of the economic crisis which was triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had in March, announced a N50 billion intervention fund as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in order to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The NIRSAL Microfinance boss said that it received 80,000 applications for the facility, out of which 40,000 of them were households.
In a run-up to this disbursement, the bank had informed the stakeholders that they do not charge any fee, either for application or processing of the facility.