Access Bank to disburse N50 bln interest free loan to businesses affected by #endsars riot
By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s Access Bank said that it has set aside N50 billion free interest loans to be disbursed to owners of micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) that were destroyed or looted by hoodlums last week during the riot triggered by the shooting of unarmed #endsars protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.
In a public notice last week, the bank has said that; “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively. In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with N50 billion interest-free loans and grants.”
Also, Roosevelt Ogbonna, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director said the lender will commence disbursement of the loans to their customers who applied from Monday. He disclosed that the fund set aside by the bank consists of loans and grant also embedded in it.
Also, First Bank of Nigeria has sent emails with the attached form to be filled by their customers whose businesses have been destroyed during the rampage that attended the shooting of unarmed #endsars protesters by soldiers on Tuesday night.
“The last two weeks have had an unprecedented impact on lives and businesses. We understand how devastating these past weeks have been and as your partner, our hearts go out to you at a time like this.
“We want you to know we are here for you and if you or your business are psychologically or materially affected, we are determined to find ways of partnering with you to rebuild and forge ahead.
“Please do take a few minutes to tell us how you have been affected and how you think we may best help you at a time like this,” First Bank wrote in an email to customers on Monday.
While it was not clear the direction the First Bank support for it customers will take, Access Bank said that its interest free loan would be targeted at customers across its MSME business, commercial banking as well as corporate banking affected by the looting and arson in some parts of the country during the riot.
The bank said its ultimate goal is to support working capital as well as access finance.
“It has a maximum tenor of 24 months for the access finance and 12 months for the working capital. The structure is flexible and it is to align with the customers’ cash flow.
“The term facility would have a moratorium period of six months and then we would structure the repayment following the customers’ own cash flow cycle. Both are interest-free.
“For the grant, we have broken it into two. Firstly is that for youth empowerment and community development. Youth empowerment is in two parts.
“We have a segment of the grant that is focused on supporting the tech industry and we have another that is focused on skill development, which is for those that are for tailors, barbers, mechanics, criteria.
“The idea is that our branches are all over the country, so whatever skill you have, go to any of our branches and you will get whatever support you require.”