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CBN begins N50b COVID-19 fund disbursement today



… Accelerated global economic effort vital – AfDB

BARRING last minute change in plans, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would commence disbursement of the first tranche of the N50billion targeted credit facility today.

  Over 80,000 Nigerians applied for the fund. Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Abubakar Kure, confirmed this in a chat with newsmen yesterday.

  Although Kure did not disclose the exact amount disbursed in the first tranche, he said that those whose applications were successful would start receiving their fund latest by tomorrow.

  “But we are hopeful that towards Thursday or Friday, the disbursement of the fund would commence,” he said.

  According to Kure, CBN introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The intervention is being financed from MSMEs Development Fund.

  Speaking further, Kure stated that in terms of limit, the loan amount would be determined based on the activity, cash flow and industry size of beneficiary, subject to a maximum of N25 million for SMEs.

 Households will access a maximum of N3million while working capital would be a maximum of 25 per cent of the average of the previous three years’ annual turnover.

  He however clarified that, based on guidelines released by CBN, those to benefit from the fund are households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Others are existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of business activities adversely affected as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and enterprises with bankable plans. Manufacturing and value-adding trading as well as other income generating activities are also captured by CBN.

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  It will be recalled that the fund is being managed by NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.

  In a related development, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group says that accelerated global economic effort are the actions needed for African nations to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

  AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina stated this yesterday at a global Corporate Council on Africa via webinar.

  According to Adeshina, “one death is one too many” just as “our collective humanity is at stake,” adding that AfDB also inaugurated $10billion COVID-19 Response Facility to assist African governments and businesses.

  “The bank’s response package includes 5.5 billion dollars earmarked for African governments, 3.1 billion dollars for countries that fall under the bank’s Concessionary African Development Fund, and 1.4 billion dollars for the private sector.

While China is home to 7,000 pharmaceutical companies, and India 11,000, Africa as a whole, by contrast, has only 375, even though its population is roughly equal to half of the combined population of both China and India. Therefore, multilateral institutions should align and step up collective efforts with regard to Africa’s debt, manage their ratings, and work together with rating agencies,” he said.

  It will be recalled that the corporate council on Africa is a leading U.S. business association that promotes business and investment between the U.S. and Africa.

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