BANKS BEGIN DISBURSEMENT OF CREATIVE INDUSTRY INTERVENTION FUND

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The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it was set to commence the disbursement of funds under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative

The decision to commence the disbursement of funds under the initiative was made at the end of the committee’s meeting held at the CBN headquarters in Abuja.

Present at the meeting were Chief Executives of all the Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria as well as other top officials of the apex bank.

The CBN had stated that under the CIFI loan initiative, beneficiaries could get up to N500m loans at nine per cent interest rate.

It noted that the creative industries that could apply were fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student loan.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, said that the decision to support the creative industry was borne out of the committee’s conviction that the sector held the key to job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth.

He was accompanied to the media briefing by the Managing Director, FBN Quest Merchant Bank, Kayode Akinkugbe;  MD, Ecobank, Patrick Akinwuntan; MD, FSDH Merchant Bank, Hamda Ambah;  Citibank MD, Akin Dawodu; and Director of Corporate Communications at the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor.

Other issues discussed at the meeting include consumer lending, mortgage financing and the need to encourage the culture of savings among Nigerians.

Providing more insights into the outcome of the meeting, Akinkugbe urged interested applicants in the creative industry to submit applications to their banks for approval and disbursement.

He also urged them to prepare the business plan or statement on how much they required for their businesses.

On real estate, he said the committee had decided to unlock the huge liquidity that various people had in the sector.

He added that this would enable the banks to boost their contribution to the real estate sector towards adding value to the consumers.

He said, “We have had good dialogue in the past and there is recognition in the Bankers’ Committee that it is time to execute a lot of the initiatives that have been considered by the various sub-committee and acted on immediately.

“Another initiative discussed is in the real sector, we want to release the trapped liquidity that various investments that people have in the real estate, in land or in property. Recognising that there are some obstacles but ultimately we must find a way to navigate through.”

Also speaking, Ambah, the FSDH Merchant Bank boss, stated that the committee also resolved that banks should support the pension industry to release up to 25 per cent of the N9tn Pension Fund Assets for the contributors of the fund to use as equity injection towards owing houses.

She said, “Twenty five per cent of N9tn is worth over N2tn and this fund can be used to stimulate demand for mortgage loans in our economy.”