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Business News of Wednesday, 25 March 2020


CBN releases criteria to access N50bn coronavirus intervention funds


Nigeria's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria has released the criteria to access the N50bn coronavirus intervention fund.

Due to the effects of the deadly virus that has infected at least 46 persons in Nigeria, killing one as of March 25, the CBN unveiled the fund had last week.

There has been an unprecedented disruption to global markets, businesses, travel businesses, major events, reduced global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production, amongst others.

The pandemic continues to have a massive effect worldwide having killed more than 18,000 persons out of the over 425,987 recorded infections.

Individuals and companies willing to access the funds should, however, take note of the following, as stated by the CBN.

In this respect, the CBN introduced the N50bn Targeted Credit Facility as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the guidelines released by the CBN, those that can benefit from the fund are households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19; existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of business activities adversely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and enterprises with bankable plans to take advantage of opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the CBN guideline, activities covered under the scheme include agricultural value chain activities; hospitality (accommodation and food services); health (pharmaceuticals and medical supplies); and airline service providers.

Others are manufacturing/value addition; trading and any other income-generating activities as may be prescribed by the CBN.

The guidelines said the scheme would be financed from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.

It said the eligible participating financial institution for the Scheme would be NIRSAL Microfinance Bank. In terms of loan limit, the apex bank said the loan amount would be determined based on the activity, cashflow and industry size of the beneficiary, subject to a maximum of N25m for SMEs.

It said households can access a maximum of N3m while working capital would be a maximum of 25 per cent of the average of the previous three years’ annual turnover.