In contrast to speculations making the rounds that the N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) is stillborn, the apex bank has assured that the disbursement would commence soon.
Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) delays in disbursing the N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) created by the federal government to adequately finance the real sector would be over when the ongoing 200 application appraisals for loans were confirmed. The apex bank through its Director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Mu’azu who disclosed this said disbursement would start in earnest after loan appraisals have been treated and confirmed.
While reacting to the insinuation making the round that the fund was stillborn, Mu’azu clarified that currently, only appraisal of over 200 applications received in respect of the fund was being conducted, adding that the N300 billion RSS facility was still in progress in strict compliance with eligibility criteria of the facility. Mu’azu assured that recommendations would be made to management of the bank for approval as soon as 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. Realizing the potential in setting up the fund, Mu’azu said when the policy objectives of the RSS Facility were 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 N300 billion facility, by its enabling policy framework released in March this year, is to be administered at an interest rate of nine per cent yearly payable on a quarterly basis. While the apex bank shall be entitled to three per cent interest, the Deposit Money Banks, (DMBs), or lending banks are to get six per cent.
According to CBN, guidelines for the facility stated that the fund would be used to support large enterprises for start-ups as well as expansion financing needs of N500 million up minimum to a maximum of N10 billion. The real sector activities’ targets of the facility are agricultural value chain manufacturing and select service sub-sectors.
The apex bank stated on its website that it would help to improve access to Nigerian SMEs to fast-track the development of the manufacturing, agricultural value chain and services subsectors of the Nigerian economy. In addition, the fund is also packaged as an intervention initiative, to increase output, generate employment, diversify the revenue base, increase foreign exchange earnings for the country as well as provide inputs for industrial sector on a sustainable basis.