The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased to N300 billion, the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), which is meant for households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The apex bank said the expansion of the credit line, which used to be N150 billion, is to enable it to get across to more households and small businesses.
In a report entitled: ‘Response by the Monetary and Fiscal Authorities to COVID-19’, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele disclosed that the TCF funds were already being given out through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
Up to N149.21 billion has already been disbursed to 316,869 beneficiaries, he said, adding that given the resounding success of this programme and its positive impact on output growth, the apex bank has decided to double the fund to N300 billion.
The loan disbursements were based on the activity, cash flow, and industry size of the beneficiaries. Each eligible small business can receive a maximum of N25 million while qualified households can access a maximum of N3 million each.
“The increase is to accommodate many more beneficiaries and boost consumer expenditure which should positively impact output growth.
“Given the impact on COVID-19 on key economic variables earlier mentioned, the fiscal and monetary authorities took unprecedented measures to prevent any long-term damage to the growth prospects of our economy,” Emefiele said.
There is a one-year extension of the moratorium on principal repayments for CBN intervention facilities and regulatory forbearance is granted to banks to restructure loans given to sectors that were severely affected by the pandemic.
He added that the CBN has also strengthened the Loan to Deposit (LDR) ratio policy and that this has resulted in a significant rise in loans provided by financial institutions to banking customers.
Nigeria’s coronavirus infections surpassed 70,000 this week after the country recorded its highest daily tally since late August, raising fears of a second wave of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, 550 new cases were recorded, taking the total in the country to 70,195.
The latest figure is the highest since August 23 when 601 cases were recorded while the country’s highest daily figure so far is 745, recorded on June 19.
For six consecutive days, Nigeria has recorded over 300 cases, according to data from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).