The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the five per cent interest rate on all of its intervention loans by one extra year.
The apex bank governor Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension at the Bankers’ Committee press briefing held in Abuja on Thursday.
In 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Emefiele led CBN introduced several intervention measures to mitigate the impact of the virus on businesses and households.
Among the intervention programmes was the reduction of the interest rate on CBN intervention loans from nine per cent to five percent and a one year extension of the moratorium on principal repayments for CBN intervention facilities.
Also, the CBN reduced the Monetary Policy Rate by 100 basis points from 12.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent and created N300bn Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for affected households and small and medium enterprises through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
Late last year, the CBN governor announced that the interest rate on the apex bank’s intervention loans will be reverted back to nine per cent from five per cent in March 2022.
But Emefiele disclosed that the moratorium has been extended by another one year to help Nigeria’s economic recovery process.
He said, “CBN would be reviewing these intervention programs going forward to ensure that they continue to achieve the desired results.
“Indeed, the lessons we have learnt from this crisis have been invaluable in helping us with serious introspection with a view to finding long-lasting and homegrown solutions to these perennial problems.
“Although interest rates on our various intervention facilities were expected to revert to nine percent effective March 1, 2022, we are announcing that the rates would remain at five percent for another year in view of the promising trajectory we have established in economic growth and job creation.
“In effect, the concessionary interest rate of five percent on our intervention facilities would now be extended until March 1, 2023.”