The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank, has begun disbursement of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), a stimulus package earmarked to support households and MSMEs ailing from the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi Kure, who disclosed this in Abuja at a media briefing to unveil some of the beneficiaries, said 3,256 MSMEs were benefiting from the first batch of the disbursement.
According to him, the disbursement will be a weekly occurrence, adding that beneficiaries will come from all parts of Nigeria.
He said: “The N50 billion was earmarked by CBN to incentivise businesses and households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We started disbursing the loan and they will get alert before the end of today.
I hope it’ll 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 any one in NIRSAL Microfinance Bank or CBN.
“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.
“You’re the first set of applicants. I encourage you to pay back so that other people can enjoy the facility”.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called for necessary assistance and support from the three tiers of government toward the growth and survival of businesses, especially the informal sector.
Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, made the call on Thursday in Lagos in commemoration of the Workers’ Day celebration, marked annually on May 1.
Olawale said that the informal sector has the largest number of entrepreneurs who create employment for Nigerians.