The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Tuesday that it was still appraising the over 200 applications received for its N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) and as such has not commenced disbursement.
The facility, rolled out in March, would be used to support large enterprises for start-ups as well as expansion financing needs of N500 million up, to a maximum of N10 billion, and targeting such activities as the manufacturing, agricultural value chain and selected service sub-sectors.
The fund is to be administered at an all-in interest rate/charge of nine percent per annum payable on a quarterly basis and the central bank would be entitled to earn three percent as interest, while the banks, a six percent spread.
The CBN said it was giving the clarifications against speculations that it had already started disbursing the money.
A statement by Ibrahim Mu’azu, CBN director, corporate communications, disclosed that the facility’s policy objectives are to provide long-term, low-interest financing intervention in support of the real sector of the Nigerian economy to increase output, create jobs and conserve foreign exchange.
“The appraisal of the applications by Nigerian SMEs for the N300 billion RSS facility was still in progress in strict compliance with the eligibility criteria of the facility,” he said in the statement.
Mu’azu assured that recommendations would be made to CBN management for approval as soon as the appraisals were concluded, adding that disbursement would follow thereafter.
He, therefore, urged applicants for the RSSF to disregard speculations and exercise patience to enable the bank conclude the appraisals.
The objectives of the facility are to improve access to finance by Nigerian SMEs to fast-track the development of the manufacturing, agricultural value chain and services sub-sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The apex bank also hopes to use the facility to rev up output, generate employment, diversify the revenue base, increase foreign exchange earnings and provide inputs for the industrial sector on a sustainable basis.
As stated in the guidelines, the CBN Development Finance Department would be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the facility.
Source : BusinessDay