From Uche Usim, Abuja and Chinwendu Obienyi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun moves to recover an estimated N9.3 trillion intervention facility extended to State governments, companies and individuals as a cushion against the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Director, Development Finance Department of CBN, Mr Yusuf Yila, who made the disclosure in Abuja at a media briefing, said while N3.75 trillion has so far been recovered out of the N9.3 trillion, the apex bank would leave no stone unturned to recover the full amount given to the beneficiaries.
“Out of that figure, N5 trillion has not matured because we gave out some long tenor loans in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors which would take some years to mature”, he said.
Yila warned those with the erroneous assumption that the loans were grants and cash gifts, to immediately perish such thoughts because relevant levers of loan recovery structures were being pressed to ensure that the money was totally recovered.
According to him, the security agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been enlisted to galvanise debtors to pay up, while the Global Standing Instructions (GSI) has also been activated.
“For the States, we debit them directly at FAAC. For the over N1 trillion facility under the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, we have recovered N400 billion so far.
“All loans must be paid back. No mercy. We’re working with EFCC to set up a desk to recover the loans. It’s like a revolving scheme and when people pay back, we can give to others. These are loans not grants, including the Targeted Credit Facility. We will chase debtors to recover the money to the last kobo.
“Good thing we have the individuals BVN and we always track monies that move in and go out their accounts. When money comes in, we’ll mop it up.
“We’re slowing down on intervention programmes not to dump too much liquidity into the economy”, Yila explained. He also advised bank customers who notice unauthorised deductions to report to the apex bank as such was not allowed.