Beneficiaries complain as CBN begins COVID-19 intervention loans recovery

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By Kadiri Abdulrahman

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is set to recover loans it granted some categories of Nigerians to ameliorate harsh socio-economic realities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the loan initiative involved is the Targeted Credit Facilities (TCF), granted to some Nigerians in 2020 to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19.

Some beneficiaries of the facility, however, expressed concern about the manner of recovery.

A beneficiary, Fatimah Alli, said that the sudden move to recover her N500,000 COVID-19 loan had worsened her financial challenges.

“I got a loan of N500,000 in 2020 to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19. But at that time we were assured that we will not be required to repay the money.

“But recently, all the money in my bank account were removed by the CBN as part of the loan recovery drive,” she said.

Another beneficiary of the TCF, Abbas Sule, also complained about arbitrary loan deductions from his bank account.

“When I was granted the loan facility in 2020, the bank official that processed the release through NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) got a commission of N50, 000, and I was paid N450,000.

“Now they want me to repay N500,000, that is not fair,” he said.

NAN reports that NMFB recently called for the repayment of COVID-19 loans given to households and business operators across the country.

The CBN had in March 2020 introduced the N50 billion TCF to support households and Micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that have been particularly hit hard by COVID-19.

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The loans were disbursed to beneficiaries by NIRSAL, an entity owned by CBN, at an interest rate of five per cent with a moratorium period that lasts till February 28, 2021.

At the expiration of the moratorium, the interest rate of the facility reverts to nine per cent from March 1, 2021.

According to NMFB in Its official twitter handle, we have played our part. It is now your turn.

The MFB revealed that it had given out loans worth N503 billion to more than 881,081 Nigerians and business operators to cushion the effects of the pandemic.

It urged beneficiaries to take steps to repay the loans, as they were not given as grants.

“You are expected to visit the nearest NIRSAL branch to obtain a loan repayment schedule.

You must ensure that your loan account is always funded,” it said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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