Banks’ gross credit to the Nigerian economy rose to N23.5tn in November this year, according to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN said in a new report that it strengthened the Loan-to-Deposit ratio policy, which he said had resulted in a significant rise in loans provided by financial institutions.
“Total gross credit rose by over 21.1 percent over the past year, from N19.4tn to N23.5tn,” it said.
The CBN said it created a N50bn target credit facility for affected households and small and medium enterprises through Nirsal Microfinance Bank, against which N363.5bn had been disbursed to over 767,000 Nigerian households and micro-businesses.
The report noted that the funds were used to support three key priority areas including the “development of 39 fully equipped isolation centres, including intensive care units and molecular testing labs and procurement of medical equipment such as PCR test kits across the country”.
Others were “provision of palliatives in the form of essential food items to 1.7 million households, an equivalent of eight million Nigerians; and improving awareness in rural awareness on the COVID-19 virus and capacity building for community health workers”.
The CBN said it had also created a N1tn facility in loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors, of which 53 major manufacturing projects, 21 agriculture-related projects and 13 service projects were being funded from the facility.
It added that it provided N100bn intervention fund for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare practitioners to expand and strengthen the capacity of the nation’s healthcare institutions.
The CBN said, “We have increased this fund to N200bn to accommodate more players in the healthcare sector, such as phytomedicine practitioners and manufacturers of medical devices and vaccines.
“Our primary focus is to create a hub where medical officers can have access to diagnostic equipment to carry out quality medical services at an affordable price for Nigerians.”