Some 80,000 households and Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises have reportedly applied for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention fund through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending.
The N50bn intervention fund was part of the stimulus package provided by the CBN as a quick policy response to help households and micro and medium businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
NIRSAL Managing Director, Abubakar Kure, disclosed to journalists that half of the applications received by the institution were from households.
He said,“At the start of the process, business plans which NIRSAL received from loan applicants were highly substandard, and to ensure a high standard and efficient processing, an optional, automated business plan was provided by a service provider at a highly discounted fee.
“This is to avoid applicants being charged excessively by other consultants and to help people during the stay-at-home period and to make the application process easy.
“We got a third-party service provider to enable applicants to access the business plan through the internet.”
According to Kure, the bank will still be open to receive applications from credible households and businesses genuinely affected by COVID-19.
He added that the management of the bank jettisoned the idea of a written, laid out business plan as a compulsory requirement, same as the third party provision of a business plan.
“The issue of the business plan was a requirement for MSMEs’ applications as stipulated by the CBN guidelines,” Kure said.
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