Out of the initial N150bn set aside for the Targeted Credit Facility by the Central Bank of Nigeria, about N149.2bn has been disbursed to 316,869 beneficiaries.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed this on Saturday at a seminar with theme; “Leveraging digital economy to drive growth, job creation and sustainable development in the midst of a global pandemic”
The CBN set up the fund during the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic to alleviate the plight of households and business owners and drive economic growth during the pandemic.
He said the Find was disbursed to affected households and small and medium enterprises through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank
Represented by the Deputy Governor Corporate Services, Adamu Lamatek, he said that given the resounding success of this program and its positive impact on output growth, the apex bank has decided to double this fund to about N300bn.
The decision to double the intervention, according to him was based on the conviction that it would help to accommodate many more beneficiaries and boost consumer expenditure which should positively stimulate the economy.
In line with the growing need to go digital, he said the bank has made the application process to be done online and requires limited paperwork from prospective applicants
On the issue of Crypto-Currency, he said the recent directive from the CBN to banks not to allow Crypto-Currency transactions was to protect Nigerians from the risks inherent in crypto asset transactions, which have escalated in recent times, with consequences on financial stability and implementation of monetary policy.
The Governor said, “Our policy stand does not preclude Nigerians from harnessing the benefits of the underlying technology that support crypto transactions, which is a distributed ledger, commonly referred to as blockchain.
“There are several examples where blockchain technology has been used to facilitate and improve transparency in the settlement of trade transactions.
“Our regulatory sandbox is available for fintech companies to explore the use of block chain technology in areas that would be beneficial to the Nigerian economy.”
In terms of foreign exchange remittances, he said the CBN has continued to improve its remittance infrastructure in order to provide Nigerians in the diaspora with cheaper, convenient and faster channels for remitting funds to beneficiaries in Nigeria.
In a bid to reduce the cost of remitting
funds to Nigeria, the CBN had on March 8, 2021 introduced a refund of N5 for every $1 of fund remitted into the country through International Money Transfer Operators licensed by the CBN.