The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is still appraising the over 200 applications received in respect of its N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF), and thererfore has not commenced disbursement of the fund.
Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, explained that the policy objective of the RSSF is to provide long-term, low-interest financing intervention in support of the real sector of the Nigerian economy, in order to increase output, create jobs and conserve the country’s foreign exchange.
He further stated that “the appraisal of the applications by Nigerian SMEs for the N300 billion RSSF is still in progress in strict compliance with the eligibility criteria of the facility.”
He assured that as soon as the appraisals are concluded, recommendations would be made to management of the bank for approval and subsequent disbursement.
He urged applicants for the RSSF to exercise a little patience to enable the Bank conclude the appraisals and to disregard speculations.
As part of efforts to unlock the potential of the real sector to engender output growth, value added productivity and job creation, the CBN had in March this year, announced the establishment of the RSSF. The facility shall be administered at an all-interest rate charge of nine per cent per annum payable on a quarterly basis. Specifically, the central bank shall be entitled to earn three per cent as interest and the banks, a six per cent spread.
The guidelines for the facility also stated that the fund 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. The real sector activities targeted by the facility are manufacturing, agricultural value chain and selected service sub-sectors.