COVID-19 LOAN: First Batch of beneficiaries refusing to payback the Facility; Here is the reason

The first batch of beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) which is widely referred to as COVID-19 LOAN has commenced repayment of the facility despite a shortfall in the Country’s economy.

The term loan which was fully disbursed to the first batch of successful applicants by Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) in July and August of 2020 has already shown that it has reached a “Grace Period”.

According to a repayment schedule distributed to first batch of beneficiaries of the loan shows that those who got an approval of N450,000 are scheduled to be paying N18,000 on a monthly basis beginning from 19 September 2021.

Newsway gathered that, of all the beneficiaries of the TCF only few are repaying the loan.[irp]

A visit to the Makurdi branch of the Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) revealed that none of the first batch of the facility in Benue is repaying or willing to repay the loan.

A Staff of the Bank who spoke to Newsway reporter on a condition of anonymity expressed disappointment at the way beneficiaries of the TCF are behaving.

“My duty is just to prepare the repayment schedule for the beneficiaries of our Credit Facility both the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and AGSMEIS whose facilities are due for repayment. But as I talk to you none of the beneficiaries of the both loans are willing to repay.”

The repayment schedule of one of the customers with the bank who benefited the TCF shows that beneficiaries already defaulted eleven months (11 months) and are presently in the status of “GRACE”.[irp]

What could be the reason why TCF beneficiaries are unwilling to repay?

Several factors could be the reasons why lots of the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) beneficiaries are deliberately refusing to payback. In this article we try to highlight some of those reasons:

1. Some of the beneficiaries of the said loan were not genuinely approved. That is, they were illegally approved by some agents who collected almost half of the disbursed amount as fee and hence are reluctant to payback.

2. Beneficiaries did not utilize the loan economically. Instead of investing the money some of the beneficiaries rather used the funds to repay other loans and on personal needs and hence not being able to repay.

3. Most of the beneficiaries are optimistic that Federal Government may wave the loans off. Well, this may be possible but for now, the Federal Government is yet to speak.

Note: anyone who collected or benefited from the TCF has his or her name indexed in the database of the “First Central Credit Bureau”. What this means is that, as long as this loan remained unpaid the beneficiaries of such facilities can not access other reasonable loans either in commercial banks or financial institutions in Nigeria.

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