The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), says it received 80,000 applications for the N50 billion targeted credit facility (TCF) released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Abubakar Kure, NIRSAL managing director, told journalists that 40,000 of the total applications were received from households.
In March, the CBN had announced the release of N50 billion stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Kure said the objective of the facility was to allow firms stay in business and ensure people stayed employed to mitigate the harm on the economy.
“The issue of the business plan was a requirement for MSMEs applications as stipulated by CBN guidelines,” NAN quoted him to have 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.”
The managing director said the management of the bank later resolved that the business plan was no longer a mandatory requirement and the third party provision of a business plan was also not compulsory.
Kure said that the bank would still welcome applications from credible businesses and households affected with COVID-19 with a view to mitigating the effects.
Isaac Okorafor, CBN director of corporate communications, said the loan facility is to help people and businesses in this “trying period”.