The Central Bank of Nigeria announced Monday a credit relief of $136.6M to businesses affected by the Corona Virus pandemic. This, the Central Bank stated could be accessed through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank for households, micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMES).
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele said households, small and medium-sized enterprises, airline service providers, hotels, health care merchants will benefit from the funds.
“The CBN hereby establishes a facility through for households and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19,” he said at a news conference.
He also noted that the pandemic has “significant adverse consequences” for the global and Nigerian economies, including crude oil supplies, stock, sporting events, financial markets, entertainment and hospitality industries.
Other interventions announced by the bank include reduction of interest rates for the loan from 9% to 5% retroactively to March 1.
For startups and businesses in Nigeria who borrowed money or about to borrow money from banks under various intervention programmes operated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (such as the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) launched in 2019 which seeks to improve access to long-term low-cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian creative and information technology (IT) sub-sectors), the good news, in the face of the covid-19 pandemic that they would no longer have to pay 9% interest rate on any loan facilities they took out with any of the commercial banks in Nigeria, in this regard.