How SMEs in Nigeria can Access the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund


By now you must have heard about the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund. It’s been all over the news and on social media. The CBN is making N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility available to SMEs and households hit by COVID-19.

Evidently, the new coronavirus has hit all businesses and crippled several SMEs worldwide. This is largely because of the reduction in the demand for products and services and hindered production.

It is clear that SMEs in Nigeria need help and the CBN has come to your aid. However, many business owners don’t have the slightest clue on how to access these funds. If you fall into this category, this post was written for you.

Why the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund?

Before the CBN made this announcement via its circular, many Nigerians had begun clamoring for Government support. This is because of the crippling effects of the virus on individuals and SMEs in the country.

It is no news that there are over 41.5 million registered MSMEs in Nigeria. This number could easily be higher if you consider the ones not registered. To cushion the effects of the new coronavirus, the CBN announced its targeted credit facility. This facility will provide support to different sectors including SMEs.

As a result, such businesses that have suffered setbacks resulting from the pandemic can get back on their feet. They’ll access funds to purchase new equipment, increase production, and improve research and development.

Who can benefit from the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund?

When the CBN released its circular, it provided a list of participants that will be eligible for the TCF. Check out the list below:

a.  Households who have proof that the pandemic had affected their means of livelihood.

b.      SMEs in Nigeria with evidence that the pandemic crippled their business operations.

c.       Agricultural value chains.

d.      Hospitality industry.

e.      Airline service providers.

f.        Health (medical supplies and pharmaceuticals)

g.      Manufacturing and value addition.

h.      Trading and any other activity that generates income as described by the CBN.

What is the Source of the Targeted Credit Facility?

This scheme will receive funds from the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF). As a result, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) is the eligible financial institution to handle the funds.

What this means is that the CBN will administer these funds via the NFMB. Therefore, applicants have to submit their application through this bank to be considered for the loan.

Accessing the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund

To make the process of application and disbursement more organized, the CBN has split the modalities of the process. They now apply to SMEs and Households or Corporate Entities. Let’s take a brief look at both below:

SMEs and Households

a.  Submission of loan application to NFMB. This must contain business registration details and business plans (where applicable), BVN numbers, and clear evidence of the effect of the pandemic on the business.

b.      NFMB appraises the application and conducts due diligence.

c.       NFMB forwards the application to the CBN upon satisfactory appraisal.

d.      CBN reviews the application and provides a final verdict for loan disbursement.

Corporate Entities

It is the same process for Corporate Entities, however, applicants may have a few issues with the NFMB regarding communication gaps. Nevertheless, the process shouldn’t be cumbersome. You can begin your application here.

Loan Terms

It is important to find about loan terms before applying for any loan. In this section, we will discuss the loan terms of the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund for SMEs in Nigeria.


The CBN measures limits based on certain criteria. As a result, not everyone will get the same amount. Let’s look at the criteria for SMEs.

The amount an SME can access is a function of the business activities or operations, segment/industry size, and cash flow. However, SMEs can get up to N25 million. Households only have access to at most N3 million.

Interest Rate

According to its circular, the CBN states that the interest rate for the first year, until February 28, 2021, will be 5% per annum. This rate is all-inclusive however, it will revert to the regular 9% for government loans from March 1, 2021.

Loan Tenor

The guideline for the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund states that working capital has a maximum of a one-year tenor. There is no roll-over option for this loan. On the other hand, the term loan extends to 3-years maximum. This loan has a moratorium period of 1-year, at least.

Collateral Requirements

This is another important aspect SMEs in Nigeria should consider before submitting the loan application. According to the guidelines, these are the classes of collateral that may be acceptable by the NFMB.

a.      Moveable assets registered with the National Collateral Registry.

b.      Title documents in their perfect state.

c.       Domiciliation of proceeds (irrevocable).

d.      Two Guarantors along with a personal guarantee of the business promoter.

e.      Life assurance policy of the First Loss Payee (key man).

f.        Comprehensive insurance over submitted assets.

Stakeholders’ Responsibilities

Now that you know the role you’ll play in accessing the CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund, let’s ee the role of other stakeholders. The two main stakeholders asides SMEs in Nigeria are the CBN and the NFMB.


a.      Provides seed fund.

b.      Releases funds to NFMB for disbursement.

c.       Reviews guidelines where necessary.

d.      Receives and processes returns from NFMB.

e.      Monitors and evaluates the implementation of the scheme.


a.      Validates BVN and other documents of all applicants.

b.      Processes and disburses funds to successful beneficiaries.

c.       Safeguards records of all the disbursements and beneficiaries.

d.      Processes and forwards returns to the CBN.

e.      Complies with guidelines of the scheme.

f.        Handle any other duties prescribed by the CBN.

Exit Date

This intervention will cease to exist on December 31, 2024. However, the CBN reserves the rights to review this framework as it deems necessary.


The CBN COVID-19 Intervention Fund is one of the greatest things to happen to SMEs in Nigeria. Now that you know how to access these funds, you should take advantage of the offer for your business. If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section, we’d be glad to help.

  1. Usman Yakubu says

    Please I applied for the covid19 loan two weeks ago and yet to receive approval message from them. What is my fate now?

    1. Shittu Mariam Adedolapo says

      Please I applied for covid 19 loan for over a month now but have not received any response or disbursement, please I need update on when loan will be disbursed

  2. Aiyeniko Ayodele Sunday says

    Good day please I have apply for the covid-19 Tcf loan about two weeks ago though have received a message in my email but how long I’m I expecting d loan disbursement.

  3. Emmanuel says

    Please I want to join but it has not been going

  4. Danmadami says

    plz how many days I can see my alarm

  5. ปั้มไลค์ says

    Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  6. Sabiu says

    Please l appilel for the covin-19 loan two million about weeks ago thaugh have received a message in my Gmail but how long I’m I expecting loan disbursement.

  7. Temitope says

    When will the pay back start? As the pandemic is still in existence and business is still not very good n not picking up at all in some areas.
    Can the CBN leave the loan for SMS to start paying back as soon as the pandemic is over

  8. Mohammed says

    Sir how long is the period of the loan before the disbursement ?

  9. Umar innocent says

    Sir/ ma. I applied for the covid 19 relieve fund and approval massage was sent to me june 9 I follow all the process and submit, since then I have not received my fund. Umar innocent, Bvn 22439070157, ecobank.

  10. Helen ujie says

    Good morning, pls I want to know if anything can be done for those of us that want to apply and the application process is already over. I really need this loan too

  11. Fatima says

    I have applied covid 19 supposed loan for three weeks now I did not get a response pls what is my Faith

  12. Enoch victor says

    I applied for the household and my loan as long been approved since on the 9th of June. I have done all that l was ask to do online but up till now l have not gotten alert Enoch victor 6170705506 fidelity bank. From port harcourt

  13. Okemini Monday says

    My question is this….. how long will it take for someone to receive alert after applying for the loan am okemini Monday i apply from Ebonyi state since March and i have never received any answer till now pls assist me.

  14. Ike eugenia uzoamaka says

    My nirsal account i opened in Onitsha branch was credited on 5the June, is over a month i filled transfer form yet they have not transfer my money to my commercial account. Saying they will get approval from CBN before they transfer it. Is over a month now. Ike eugenia uzoamaka.


    Good morning sir”iapply for the covid 19 loan ,getting to (3 weeks ) but up to now ihave no received my fund

  16. Mirabel Mba says

    I have been approved of the CBN loan since June and I have dropped the necessary details but I am yet to receive the credit alert,my question is when am I to expect the disbursement or there is no hope .

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