Business Hilights
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Access Bank leads others to flag off CBN’s N22bn creative Nigeria project today

Pursuant to their plan to financially empower the Nigerian creative industry sub-sector, all is set for the inauguration of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) N22bn strategic intervention fund in partnership with banks today in Lagos.

Hint of today’s inauguration was dropped by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday when he also disclosed the plans of the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee to transform the National Theatre at Iganmu in Lagos and make it a vibrant tourist centre.

Business Hilights gathered that in this new drive to support the creative sub sector, areas to attract funds include movie, music, fashion, and the Information Communications Technology.

Emefiele said this was part of the banking sector’s efforts to harness the innovative and creative energy of the youths, towards enabling them to create productive ventures that would support improved wealth and job creation in Nigeria.

He said, “Using the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme fund, through which the banks set aside, on an annual basis, five per cent of their profit after tax, our goal is to support start-ups and existing businesses in the creative industry space.

“So far, the CBN and the Bankers Committee intend to support this creative venture with N22bn of initial funds. Part of our efforts in the music and movie industry will be to support young entrepreneurs in the development of digital content at the park,” Emefiele averred.

Access Creative loan
Panelists at the Access Bank’s workshop for prospective beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Sector Loan initiative held at the bank’s head office in Lagos on Wednesday, July 03, 2019. Photo: Business Hilights

Recall that leading banking giant, Access Bank Plc., had in July this year given convincing narrative on the chances of success in the planned multibillion naira intervention fund for operators in the creative industry to grow their business.

The Creative Sector Loan (CSL) facility structured by the apex bank is designed for entrepreneurs in a number of target sub-sectors including the Fashion industry, Information Technology and Entertainment.

The Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee as part of efforts to boost job creation in Nigeria, particularly among the youth, has developed a Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI).

Recall that the apex bank had in early May this year announced a facility scheme under the CIFI loan initiative, beneficiaries could get up to N500m loans at nine per cent interest rate.

It noted that the creative industries that could apply were fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student loan.

The apex bank made it clear that “Software engineering student can get a loan of up to N3m, N30m for movie production business, N500m for movie distribution business, cover your rental/service fees for fashion and Information Technology business, cover your training fees, equipment fees, and rental/service fees for music business.”

The CBN advised interested applicants in the creative industry to submit applications to their banks for approval and disbursement.

On the heels of the fact that the scheme is open to interested banks’ to drive, Access Bank has taken the bull by the horn in jump-starting the facilitation with training workshops for would-be beneficiaries.

Addressing a number of Fashion entrepreneurs’ at one of the workshops held at the bank’s head office in Lagos on Wednesday, the Zonal Head of the programme in the bank, Mr. Bidemi Adeboye, drilled the participants on the ABC of the processes leading to not only access to the loan which is coming on single digit of nine per cent, but to build their business capacity in a way and manner they will within the regime of the loan access, become employers.

CBN and banks
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

According to him, “Requirements for eligibility include at least two credit reports for the company and each director of the company, proposed schedule for loan repayment, board credit committee report (where applicable), CBN’s intervention which the project is currently benefiting from (CIFI), outstanding obligations from other CBN’s interventions, provision of evidence of documents like minimum equity contribution of 30 per cent and lead mortgage plus board resolution on the loan.

Other critical requirements of the loan eligibility include a business plan, financial plan, economic benefits of the target project, three years audited accounts for existing companies, statement of affairs for start-ups and companies with less than three years of existence.

Adeboye also listed the need for presentation of duly executed offer documents between the bank and loan applicants and Certificate of Incorporation.

In their comments, participants expressed their readiness to access the facility so as to grow their businesses, create employment and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).