The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed it has so far disbursed the sum of N49 billion of the government approved N50 billion intervention funds to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
In addition, the bank said about 80,000 Nigerian households have so far benefited from the approved stimulus package meant to cushion Nigerian families Small businesses in the country from impact of the COVID – 19 global health pandemic.
The Director of Corporate Communications at CBN, Isaac Okoroafor who disclosed this said the bank was presently in the process of disbursing the N1trillion intervention funds to manufacturing concerns as well as the N100 billion intervention funds for health Care facilities in the country adding that a number of beneficiaries had received the approved funds.
Speaking recently via an online media interactive program monitored in Lagos. Okoroafor maintained that the CBN was committed in its resolve to safeguard interest of the average Nigerian household and SMEs from impacts of the COVID -19 pandemic and ensure that the Nigerian economy is preserved from entering into arecession post the Covid – 19 pandemic.
The apex bank n its first official pronouncements following the IMF latest projection of – 5.4 record for Nigeria’s economy post the Covid pandemic explained that the bank was aiming to achieve a – 1.5 target by end of year 2020 adding that the bank aims to achieve better results should oil prices maintain its current level of 25 dollar a barrel in the global market.
“Well, you have read out what IMF has projected, minus 5.4. Initially they projected something like – .4 and then saying that 2021 we could make 3.4, 3.5”
“On our side at the CBN we believe that our projections is that by end of the year we could make – 1.5. And what people are actually saying is that if price of oil .maintain its level of 25 dollars that we could do much better bellow 46. But at the CBN we have looked at it and we felt that everyone must work hard to ensure that the economy does not move back into recession”
“We have done that with q couple of interventions. We have targeted facility for household and Small Businesses, which as we speak, out of the N50 billion earmarked for this, more than 49 billion has been disbursed to over 80,000 families and households”
He added that the CBN as a monetary authority and a public institution is working assiduously to ensure that that those Nigerian Small Businesses whose businesses were relatively impacted by the pandemic are given opportunity to bring themselves out of that kind of recession and be able to maintain even there businesses as they go on as well as there livelihood.
According to him “Small Businesses that used to employ 2 or 3 people who account actually for much of the jobs in this country that we want to ensure that they continue to do their businesses as if the pandemic did not affect them”
He added “ that is the only way we can make Nigerians to work hard to ensure that the pandemic does not pull us back into recession.
“We believe that Nigerians have the power, have the energy, have the creativity to ensure that this economy doesn’t go in to a recession”.