Through its department, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria is requesting an N10,000 fee from small business owners impacted by COVID-19 as a prerequisite for accessing intervention loans.
In March the CBN revealed it will give households and small businesses affected by Coronavirus an N50bn Focused Credit Facility.
All qualifying, the apex bank says, must prove that the spread of the virus has adversely affected their livelihood and business operations.
The businesses eligible for the scheme are operations related to the agricultural value chain, hospitality, health (pharmaceuticals and medical supplies), airline service providers, manufacturing and added value, and trade.
The maximum amount to be received depending on proof of cash flow of investment size is N25 m whereas households can access N3 m for a maximum period of one year at an interest rate of five per cent per annum.
Nevertheless, the facility's appointed administrator, NISRAL Microfinance Bank, has insisted that applicants must pay N10,000 to process loan applications of distressed small businesses.
NISRAL insisted in an email to applicants that payment of the mandatory fee for a "business plan link" was the only way it would review business applications in desperate need of help.