CBN extends loans to SMEs, others

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently disclosed that it is extending its Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme loans to 14,638 applicants in August.

In a communiqué from the last MPC report, it stated, “The Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme intervention has been extended to a total of 14,638 applicants, while 250 SME businesses, predominantly the youths, have benefited from the Creative Industry Financing Initiative.”

It noted that the various interventions by the CBN aimed to reflate the economy, improve aggregate supply and drive down inflation.

Recent interventions were largely in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, electricity and gas, solar power as well as housing constructions among others, it stated.

The bank said it expressed optimism that these initiatives will significantly ease the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and set the economy on a path of recovery.

It said, so far, total disbursements from the bank’s interventions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic amounted to N3.5tn including.

These included real sector funds of N216.87bn; COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility of N73.69bn; AGSMEIS of N54.66bn; Pharmaceutical and Health Care Support Fund of N44.47bn); and Creative Industry Financing Initiative of N2.93bn.

Under the real sector funds, it stated, a total of 87 projects that included 53 manufacturing, 21 agriculture and 13 services projects were funded.

In the health care sector, it added, 41 projects which included 16 pharmaceuticals and 25 hospital and health care services were funded.

Under the Targeted Credit Facility, it said, 120,074 applicants had received financial support for investment capital.

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