At least N107.45 billion has been accessed by beneficiaries from the N1.15 trillion Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) COVID-19 pandemic intervention funds within the last 90 days, data by the apex bank has indicated. The data showed that close to 6,000 beneficiaries, comprising organisations and individuals, had accessed the loans so far.
The various CBN COVID-19 intervention funds include, the N100 billion healthcare sector intervention fund, the N1 trillion intervention targeted at agriculture and manufacturing firms, and the N50 billion targeted credit facility for households and SME’s.
The CBN data showing the disbursements indicated that under the N100 billion healthcare sector intervention fund, the CBN has approved and disbursed N10.15 billion for some projects for the establishment of advanced diagnostic and health centres and the expansion of some pharmaceutical plants for essential drugs and intravenous fluids.
On the N1 trillion intervention targeted at agriculture and manufacturing companies, the CBN disbursed N93.2bn under the real sector support fund to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors. This consists of over 44 Greenfield and Brownfield projects.
The apex bank has also approved N10.9 billion to 14,331 beneficiaries under the N50 billion targeted credit facility for households and SME’s, out of which N4.1billion has been disbursed to 5,868 successful beneficiaries.
Thus, rising from the May 2020 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank will rev up engagements with the participating banks “to encourage them to offer and disburse these funds to those priority sectors of the economy so as to stimulate aggregate demand and create more jobs.
” He also said that “the MPC expects that on the backdrop of the various stimulus packages and increased credit at lower interest rates, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would be relatively less severe than had earlier been expected and the reversal in growth deceleration would become more optimistic.
” Recall at the wake of the shutting down of the economy to prevent the coronavirus spread which crippled businesses and with the low crude oil prices, the CBN introduced the above intervention funds to help businesses survive and help health care companies’ respondent to finding cure to the virus.
The apex bank has also stated that its decision to increase its intervention is to boost local manufacturing and import substitution across all critical sectors of the economy.