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Over 881,081 Nigerians, Businesses Got N503bn Covid-19 Loans—NIRSAL MFB

Oluwasina Phillip

Over 881,081 Nigerians and businesses have secured loans valued at over N503.27bn from NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank.

The Bank said on Monday that most of these loans are from the COVID-19 intervention fund released by the federal government to cushion the effect of the pandemic on households and small businesses.

During the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic last year, the CBN introduced a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, massive cancellation of sporting and entertainment event, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons in many countries, and intercontinental travel bans/restrictions across critical air routes across the world.

These outcomes had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.

In this respect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the Targeted Credit Facility to cushion the negative impact of the pandemic on Nigerians

Figures from NIRSAL MFB showed that the bank has disbursed N503,273,000,000 as loans to beneficiaries.

Some of the beneficiaries include individuals and families whose bread winners lost their jobs in 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Out of the total loans, 612,321 households received loans ranging from N250,000 to N1m totaling N240,083,000,000.

Also, 103,185 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) between 2020 and December 2021 received loans valued at N104,023,000,000.

Households that are Non-Interest Beneficiaries (NIB) of the NIRSAL MFB loans numbering 21,027 have so far secured facilities amounting to N9,091,000,000.

Small and Medium Enterprises under the Non-Interest scheme numbering 2,710 have accessed N1,057,000,000, while 31,067 Agric Small Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) beneficiaries have accessed N116,001,000,000 from NIRSAL MFB in one year.

The Bank stated that 105,244 Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) successful applicants have received loans amounting to N31,001,000,000 while 5,527 Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) have also drawn down N1,009,000,000 loans.

In 2021 alone, 23 groups have showered awards on NIRSAL MFB recognition of the its efforts to provide liquidity for seriously impacted households and businesses.

At the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Meeting in Abuja, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele said the Committee was impressed with the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) “for its contribution to alleviating poverty at the grassroot”.

Speaking on the disbursement, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL MFB Mr Abubakar Abdullahi Kure said “NMFB makes sure that all the six- geopolitical zones are beneficiaries to promote financial inclusion”.

In disbursing the loans, Kure noted that “women are also highly considered”.

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