COVID-19: ‘Accounts of successful SMEs for N50bn relief fund to be credited in 48 hours’ – CBN

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

By Francis Ogwo

The Central Bank of Nigeria will credit the account of successful households, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who applied for the 50 billion Naira COVID-19 targeted credit facility in the next 48 hours.

Announcing this in a statement in Abuja on Monday, the apex bank said the beneficiaries are not expected to provide any guarantors.

In the statement signed by the CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, the bank said that whoever failed to get the credit cash alert within two days as envisaged should contact the CBN on telephone number 09010026900 for resolution.

The apex bank had in March, 2020, set up the single digits interest N50bn facility to be disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank for households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), hoteliers, airline service providers, healthcare merchants, among others which are susceptible at this downturn stage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his reaction, the President of National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Rogers Nwoke, said the N50bn facility is too small to meet the expansive working capital of MSMEs.

According to him, Microfinance Banks (MFBs) disburse higher than that, monthly.
“You cannot get the needed traction by letting only one new MFB with limited spread to do these disbursements,” Nwoke added.

He recommended that the CBN should make another N50bn available through qualifying MFBs and the funds will reach MSMEs in less than thirty days.

Under the arrangement, eligible MSMEs will receive a maximum of N25 million while qualified households can access a maximum of N3 million each.

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