The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it has disbursed over N49 billion out of N50 billion targeted facility for households and small businesses to over 80,000 families and households.
The apex bank introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises that are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This was disclosed by the Director for Corporate Communications for CBN, Isaac Okoroafor, during a channels television interview. The CBN spokesperson said that the apex bank had announced a couple of measures and policies aimed at making sure that Nigeria’s economy does not slip back into recession due to the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.
Okoroafor, in his response to why CBN is confident despite gloomy economic forecast, “At the CBN we have looked at it and we felt that everyone must work hard to ensure that the economy does not slip back into recession. We have done that with a couple of interventions, we have the targeted credit facility for households and small businesses which as we speak, out of the N50 billion earmarked for this, more than N49 billion has been disbursed to over 80,000 families and households. ‘’We also have the N100 billion healthcare facility which quite a number of operators in that area have benefitted and we are inviting others to come in. we believe that Nigerians have the power, have the energy, have the creativity to ensure that this economy doesn’t go into recession.
“Of course there is consensus across the world, most economies if not all will go into recession this year and Nigeria is not totally immune from it, but we are working as a monetary authority, as a public institution to ensure that those Nigerians, families and small businesses whose businesses were negatively impacted by this pandemic, that we give them the opportunity to walk themselves out of that kind of recession and to be able to maintain even their businesses as they go on and their livelihoods.” Going further, Okoroafor said that the CBN would ensure that small businesses that employ 2 or 3 people and account for most of the jobs in the country continue to do their business without allowing the coronavirus pandemic to affect them. He pointed out that making Nigerians work hard would ensure that the pandemic does not push the country into a recession.
He said that the apex bank would always go against smugglers, round-trippers, and chronic debtors in the banking system, those whose only business was to import non-essentials into the country and forex speculators who see the bank as their enemies.
The CBN spokesman also pointed out that the CBN has a N1 trillion fund for the manufacturing sector and is aimed at ensuring that productivity is enhanced, thereby working a way out of the impact of this pandemic. He said the bank will not be distracted by news that are being circulated on social media, questioning the integrity of the bank and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as that was the stock in trade of those peddling those falsehoods.