COVID-19 Loan: NMFB may forfeit COVID-19 TCF Loan to Beneficiaries

The Senate has said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should forfeit the COVID-19 Loan given to the beneficiaries under one of the CBN Intervention Loans Schemes known as COVID-19 Targetted Credited Facility.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said the criteria under which the loans were granted to Nigerians would make it difficult for the Nirsal Microfinance Bank to recover the money.

Recall that the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank in 2020, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, gave loans to households and small businesses to the tune of N500 billion as support to enable them overcome the period.

Related: Latest Update on NMFB COVID-19 Loan, AGSMEIS Loan Repayment

The pandemic which killed over 2 million people around the world including Nigeria brought a lockdown that affected businesses and households, resulting in economies shutting down for month.

According to Akinyelure, the COVID-19 loans given to Nigerians were like grants. 

Akinyelure rather called for a fresh injection of funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable the Bank to properly carry out its mandate.

“To me, NISRAL gave out these monies as grants to Nigerians because I don’t see how you are going to collect over N500 billion back from the criteria required for the acquisition of these loans. With these, if there is any recommendation or way forward that the management feels they can enlighten us on, they should put it out, we will go back to the Senate.

“Since recovering this money will be difficult for NIRSAL because of the time it was disbursed, let’s request that CBN give them fresh funds so they can be able to give it out to persons that they can be able to recover it from. About N180 billion outside is gone, and we can’t wait until it is recovered before another fund can be disbursed.

“In countries like the US, they gave their citizens free money over four times. For this agency to meet its loaded objectives fresh funds should be released to them,” he said.

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