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Nigerians Owe CBN N261.07bn COVID-19 Loan

Some Nigerians who benefited from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and NIRSAL Microfinance Bank’s targeted credit facility (TCF) have failed to pay N261.07bn out of N419.42bn given out.

Daily Trust reports that the facility launched in April 2020 was to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and SMEs.

In a document released by the CBN, it said the facility led to the creation of 1,585,872 direct and indirect jobs, contributing to Nigeria’s employment landscape.

It added that of the N419.42 billion disbursed, principal repayments amount to about N41.39 billion, with interest repayments standing at approximately N174.60 million.

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But there is a significant outstanding amount of roughly N378.03 billion, with an overdue amount of N261.07 billion, indicating that a large number of recipients have not kept up with their repayment schedules.

The document stated that each of the top beneficiaries of the loan get N2.5m for the purpose of SME finance but categorised as ‘non-performing’, indicating challenges or failures in repayment.

Only one, Centriculture Limited, has been noted as ‘performing’, with a repayment of N1m.

Some recommendations made in the document include to subsume the intervention under the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) for better management and outcomes.

Another recommendation is developing a clear exit strategy that aligns with the outstanding balance to aid in the smooth final closure of the scheme.