By Samuel Adegoke
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) from N150 billion to N300 billion.
The expansion of the credit line, the apex bank said, is to enable it reach more households and small businesses.
Disbursements of the loan were based on the activity, cash flow, and industry size of the beneficiaries. Each eligible small business can receive a maximum of N25 million while qualified households can access a maximum of N3 million each. The sum of N500,000 has, however, been approved for most households.
In a ‘Response by the Monetary and Fiscal Authorities to COVID-19’ report released by the apex bank, its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the TCF funds were already being disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
He said already N149.21 billion has been disbursed to 316,869 beneficiaries, adding that given the resounding success of this programme and its positive impact on output growth, the apex bank has decided to double the fund to N300 billion.
“The increase is to accommodate many more beneficiaries and boost consumer expenditure which should positively impact output growth. “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.
He said there is 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.
He said the CBN has also strengthened the Loan to Deposit ratio policy, which has resulted in a significant rise in loans provided by financial institutions to banking customers.
“Total gross credit rose by over 21 percent over the past year, from N15.5 trillion to N19.54 trillion. The apex bank, he added has also disbursed Agri- Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) (N92.90 billion to 24,702 beneficiaries), Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) by the sum of N164.91 billion to 954,279 beneficiaries,” he said.
The apex bank said it has also extended over N738 billion credit to manufacturers for manufacturing related activities to keep their operations running amidst the pandemic.
“The Agricultural sector continued to record positive growth supported by productivity gains in the sector, interventions by the government, and improved demand for local produce. The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, in the month of November stood at 50.2 points, indicating an expansion in manufacturing activities after six months of contraction,” he said.
Source: The Nation