The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has received over 8 million applications for its COVID-19 targeted credit facility (TCF).
Osita Nwanisiobi, CBN’s corporate communications department director, announced this during a one-day interactive session with organized labour and civil society groups in Enugu state.
The facility was introduced in April 2020 as a stimulus package to support households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country that were hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2021, the apex bank reopened applications for the fund.
According to Nwanisiobi, the TCF helped Nigeria exit recession and achieved the current gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.01 percent.
He added that over 600,000 applicants have benefited from various COVID-19 intervention funds so far.
“If you tell me that there are people who still need COVID-19 facility and who have not received it, honestly, I will agree with you,” Nwanisiobi said.
“We started with about N50 billion. We moved from N100 billion to N300 billion. Today, we are talking about N400 billion. Now the number of applications that we have is over eight million, and we have done over 600,000.
“The governor (Godwin Emefiele) is actually very passionate because he has also seen that what we have done in this regard also helped Nigerians exit recession and to post the kind of GDP that we have, and so he is poised to do more.”
Nwanisobi further said CBN has implemented about 37 intervention programs, particularly in the agricultural sector, to boost the economy, lower inflation, and create more jobs for the youth.
The scheme (TCF) is disbursed through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and the exit day for this intervention is on December 31, 2024.