Access Bank targets creation of 10,000 jobs through CBN CIFI

ACCESS Bank Plc has revealed that it has set a five-year target of creating about 10,000 new jobs by on-lending the CBN’s Creative Industry Financing Initiative Fund (CIFI), and offering various kinds of advisory services to beneficiaries.

The bank disclosed this in Lagos at a forum held at its corporate head office, with some stakeholders in the fashion industry in attendance.

The lender plans to leverage the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) creative industry fund, in line with the apex bank’s directive to banks to support the sector, which has capacity to attract foreign exchange and create jobs for Nigerians.

The CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee  developed a Creative Industry Financing Initiative, thereby throwing the window open for fashion designers, Information Technology operators, movie production and distribution industry, music and software engineering students.

It said Software engineering students can get a loan of up to N3 million, N30 million for movie production business and N500 million for movie distribution business.

Speaking during a panel discussion, the Executive Director, Business Banking at Access Bank plc, Mrs Chizoma Okoli, said the CBN CIFI is targeted at boosting job creation in Nigeria, particularly among the youths, adding that Access Bank, probably the first to have submitted application for the fund has positioned itself to assist prospective beneficiaries at every stage from company registration for new entrants, to accessing the loans.

Okoli said Access Bank was committed to making the CIFI a huge success. She stressed that Fashion, Information Technology, Movies, and Music are the four segments in the scheme.

To be eligible for the initiative she said, interested borrowers must have businesses in these areas.

According to her, having satisfied the requirements of having a business in any of the areas highlighted above, the prospective borrower is then required to prepare a business plan or proposal on how much is needed for such a business.

Okoli said the loans can be accessed at a maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum (all charges inclusive) at any bank.

“Our support for the creative industry is meant to create more jobs. Every bank can access the Fund on your behalf. We want to handle it in a way we have information from you, so that we can have informed decision. We do not know the industry and we do not claim to know it. We have already listed the things you need to bring to be able to access the funds, now it is important to get your own perspective,” Okoli said.

Another staff of Access Bank, Bidemi Adeboye, said there are many people in the fashion industry value chain that needed to be assisted to create jobs.

“There are also foreign exchanges to be made in the Forex sector. How can we unleash this sector? We need a training school. For IT sector, the CBN wants to build a tech-hub. We need to bring shared facility to Nigerians. It must be creative jobs for you to secure the loan. If you are planning for the loan, it must be for creative jobs,” he said.

When all documentations were completed and the loans approved, the bank would ensure the beneficiaries got the funds within two weeks, Adeboye said.

“The CBN wants to create jobs, develop local capacity, preserve foreign exchange and ensure empowerment in the fashion industry.

“It is more interested in providing infrastructure funding such as film house, equipment, studio, auditorium, which will make it easier for the entertainers to operate at lower cost and be able to make profit,” he added.

He explained that the loan had maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum and a repayment period of up to 10 years.

Access Bank also brought for panel discussion, lawyers to share the legal implications, Tax experts to give overview of tax compliance requirements as well as fashion industry operators.

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