The global economy has been profoundly affected by the far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparing no nation from its impact. Nigeria, like many other countries, has faced significant economic challenges. To alleviate the financial burden individuals and businesses face, the Nigerian government has introduced COVID-19 loans.
In this article, we will guide you through applying for a COVID-19 loan in Nigeria, providing valuable information and steps to access this financial support during these challenging times.
Who Is Eligible To Apply For COVID-19 Loans In Nigeria?
- Hospitality, which includes accommodation and food services
- Health (pharmaceuticals and medical supplies)
- Agricultural value chain activities
- Airline service providers
- Manufacturing and value addition
- Any other income generating activities as may be prescribed by the CBN.
This sector includes accommodation and food services, such as hotels, restaurants, and catering businesses. Entities within the hospitality industry facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic may be eligible for COVID-19 loans.
The health sector, particularly pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, has played a critical role in combating the pandemic. Businesses producing and distributing medical equipment, supplies, and medicines may be eligible for COVID-19 loans.
Agricultural Value Chain
Given the importance of agriculture in Nigeria, loan programs have been established to support the agricultural value chain. This includes farmers, agribusinesses, processors, distributors, and other related activities. Loans may help sustain and strengthen the agricultural sector amid the pandemic.
Airline Service Providers
Travel restrictions and reduced passenger demand have significantly impacted the aviation industry. Airlines, ground handling companies, and other service providers within the aviation sector may be eligible for COVID-19 loans to mitigate financial challenges.
The trading sector encompasses various businesses buying and selling goods and services. Traders affected by disrupted supply chains, reduced consumer demand, or other pandemic-related factors may qualify for COVID-19 loans.
Manufacturing and Value Addition
Manufacturing companies engaged in producing goods across different industries and those involved in value-addition processes may be eligible for COVID-19 loans. This sector has experienced production, supply chains, and market demand disruptions, warranting financial support.
What is The Collateral Requirement
The beneficiaries of the program may be required to provide collateral as determined by NIRSAL MFB. The acceptable collateral options may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Two (2) acceptable guarantors.
- Irrevocable domiciliation of proceeds.
- Comprehensive insurance over the asset.
- Moveable asset(s) duly registered on the National Collateral Registry (NCR).
- Simple deposit of title documents, in perfectible state.
- Deed of Debenture (for stocks), in perfectible state.
- Personal guarantee of the promoter of the business.
- Life insurance of the Key-Man, with NMFB noted as the First Loss Payee.
What Is The Interest Rate of The COVID-19 Loan
- The interest rate for the intervention loans will be 5% per annum (all-inclusive) until February 28th, 2021.
- From March 1st, 2021, onwards, the interest on the facility will revert to 9% per annum (all-inclusive).
What Is The Loan Tenor of The COVID-19 Loan
- The working capital loans will have a maximum period of one year, with no option for rollover.
- Term loans will have a maximum tenor of up to 3 years, with a minimum of a one-year moratorium period.
What Is The Loan Limit of The COVID-19 Loan
- The loan amount will be determined based on factors such as the activity, cash flow, and industry/segment size of the beneficiary.
- The maximum loan limit for SMEs is set at N25 million.
- Households can access a maximum loan amount of N3 million.
What Is The Working Capital of The COVID-19 Loan
- The working capital loan amount will be a maximum of 25% of the average annual turnover of the previous 3 years.
- If the enterprise hasn’t been in operation for 3 years, then 25% of the previous year’s turnover will be considered.
How To Apply For COVID 19 Loan in Nigeria
- If you’re a household or a small business, you can submit your application directly to NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB).
- Your application should include important information like your BVN number, business registration (if applicable), and a business plan that clearly shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you, either positively or negatively.
- NMFB will carefully review and evaluate your application to make sure everything is in order.
- Once your application gets a thumbs-up from NMFB, they will send it to the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) for final approval.
- The CBN will then review your application and give the green light for NMFB to disburse the funds to you.
For Corporate Entities
- If you represent a corporate entity, you’ll need to submit your application to NMFB, providing solid evidence of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your business, whether it’s presented opportunities or caused adverse effects.
- NMFB will carefully assess your application and conduct all the necessary checks to ensure everything is in order.
- Once NMFB is satisfied with your application, they will forward it to the CBN for final approval.
- The CBN will review your application and, if everything checks out, give the final approval for NMFB to disburse the funds to your corporate entity.
What Is The Benefit Of The COVID-19 Loan
- Financial Support: The loans offer much-needed financial assistance to individuals, households, and businesses that have faced economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a lifeline to help them recover, sustain operations, or seize new opportunities.
- Accessible Funds: The loan program aims to make funds easily accessible to eligible applicants. By following the application process and meeting the criteria, borrowers can access the necessary funds to address their financial needs promptly.
- Low Interest Rates: The COVID-19 loans come with low-interest rates, making them more affordable for borrowers. The interest rates offered under the program are generally lower than standard commercial loan rates, reducing the overall cost of borrowing and easing the financial burden on borrowers.
- Flexible Loan Tenor: The loan program offers flexibility in terms of repayment. Working capital loans typically have a maximum one-year tenor, while term loans can have a maximum tenor of up to three years. This flexibility allows borrowers to align their repayment schedules with their cash flow and business needs.
- Moratorium Period: Many loan programs include a moratorium period, giving borrowers a grace period before they repay the loan. This period allows individuals or businesses to stabilize their finances, recover, and generate income before starting loan repayment.
- Tailored Loan Amounts: The loan program considers the specific needs of different borrowers. The loan amounts are determined based on activity, cash flow, industry size, and segment, ensuring borrowers receive an amount that aligns with their requirements.
- Business Growth and Stability: COVID-19 loans can support business growth and stability. The funds can maintain operations, invest in new equipment or technology, expand product lines, or adapt business models to changing market conditions.
- Economic Recovery: By providing financial support to individuals and businesses, the COVID-19 loan program contributes to the overall economic recovery of Nigeria. It helps to sustain employment, stimulate business activities, and promote economic resilience in the face of the pandemic’s adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is COVID-19 Loan?
A COVID-19 loan is a financial assistance program introduced to support individuals, households, and businesses affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers access to funds with favorable terms and conditions to help borrowers recover, sustain their operations, or seize new opportunities.
Can I Borrow From Lapo Online?
Yes, you can borrow from LAPO online. LAPO Microfinance Bank offers a variety of loan products that can be applied for online, including the SME Loan, Educational Loan, Agricultural Loan, Regular Loan, Asset Loan, Special Loan, Public Sector Loan, and SUFEN Loan.
What can I use the COVID-19 loan funds for?
The funds obtained through the COVID-19 loan can be used for various purposes, such as working capital to cover operational expenses, payment of salaries and wages, purchasing inventory or equipment, meeting financial obligations, implementing business continuity measures, or investing in necessary adjustments to adapt to the new economic landscape.
How can I register my NIRSAL account?
- Download the mobile application from the Google Play Store for Android users or the App Store for iPhone users.
- Launch the application and locate the “Sign Up” button.
- Enter your NIRSAL MFB account number as your username and provide your registered mobile number.
- Click on the “Register” button to proceed with the registration process.
How To Check NIRSAL Loan Status
- Visit the official portal of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
- Click on the COVID-19 support link located in the top right-hand corner of the page.
- On the next page, select the category you applied for household or small to medium-sized businesses.
- Enter your 11-digit BVN to check the status of your loan application.
- If your loan approval is successful, you will be directed to a page displaying the approved loan amount, terms and conditions, and a section to provide your bank details. Upon accepting the terms, your loan will be credited to your account.
- If your loan application was unsuccessful, you would see a message stating, “This BVN Detail Does Not Exist.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the Nigerian economy, affecting individuals, households, and businesses alike. The COVID-19 loan program is a valuable resource that can help borrowers recover, sustain their operations, or seize new opportunities. The program offers low-interest rates, flexible loan tenors, and a moratorium period, making it more affordable and accessible for borrowers.
To apply for a COVID-19 loan, you must first meet the eligibility criteria. You can then submit your application to NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB). Your application will be reviewed and evaluated by NMFB, and if approved, it will be forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for final approval.