BUSINESS

CBN Extends Single-Digit Interest Rates On Intervention Facilities To March 1

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that interest rates on its various intervention facilities had been extended till March 1, 2023.

To date, the CBN, working with Database Management Systems and participating financial institutions, had granted over three trillion naira as intervention loans, one of the critical ingredients to economic recovery and employment generation.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said at a news conference following a meeting of the Bankers Committee in Abuja, on Thursday that the apex bank would be reviewing these intervention programmes going forward, to ensure that they continued to achieve the desired results.

“Although interest rates on our various intervention facilities are expected to revert to nine per cent effective March 1, 2022, we are announcing that the rates will remain at five per cent for another year.

”This is in view of the promising trajectory we have established in economic growth and job creation.

“In effect, the concessionary interest rate of five per cent on our intervention facilities will now be extended until March 1, 2023,” Emefiele said.

According to him, under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the bank had disbursed N948 billion to 4,478,381 smallholder farmers who cultivated 5.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, thereby, creating 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs.

”Also, under its Targeted Credit Facility, meant to help households and businesses that suffered significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank disbursed N368.79 billion to 778,000 beneficiaries comprising 648,052 households, and about 130,000 SMEs,” he said.

The CBN governor added that the bank also disbursed N1.452 trillion to 337 large projects in agriculture, manufacturing, services and mining under the Real Sector Support Facility.

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In healthcare, Emefiele said that 122 major projects had been funded to the tune of N115.36 billion, adding that these interventions went to 31 pharmaceutical and 91 hospital projects.

He said that the intervention helped to support acquisition of 59 Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners, 42 Computer Tomography scanners and four Oncology screening machines.

“For the AGSMEIS programme, which caters to SMEs in agribusiness, a total of N134.63 billion was released to 37,571 SME projects, of which 67 per cent were directly agriculture-related projects, 22.5 per cent in services, while the balance were in fashion, Information Technology and related sub-sectors.

” Under the Nigeria Electricity Stabilization Facility, a total of N229 billion was disbursed to nine DisCos, to help cover their financial obligations to upstream market participants.

“These interventions have helped to significantly improve liquidity in their ecosystem and increased electricity generation from 4,000 MW in 2020 to over 5,000 MW as of September 2021.

”The bank has also released N47.83 billion to 10 DisCos under the National Mass Metering Programme for the procurement of 858,026 electricity meters,” Emefiele said. He added that because of these disbursements, the revenue collection for DisCos increased significantly to over N69 billion as at December 2021.

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