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Zenith Bank, Access, and More Deliver Loan Updates Following CBN’s Directive



Nigerian deposit money banks have abruptly ceased accepting new loan applications under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) development finance intervention funds, as revealed by Access Bank in a customer notification on Monday. This follows the CBN’s official discontinuation of processing new loan applications in December 2023 for various programs, including the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP). Although existing CBN development finance intervention funds with approved interest rates will remain unchanged, the unexpected decision raises concerns about the potential implications for businesses and individuals seeking financial support amid economic challenges.

Olayemi Cardoso, the governor of the CBN, disclosed a surge in the apex bank’s total disbursements under its development finance intervention, reaching N10 trillion. However, the lack of specific details on unrecovered amounts and industry observers estimating outstanding loans, particularly under the Anchor Borrower Program, at N580 billion, has sparked concerns about the financial health of the intervention programs and their broader economic impact. The CBN’s strategic shift away from direct development financing interventions places the onus of recovering outstanding loans on commercial banks, adding significant pressure to navigate the complexities of loan recovery amid economic uncertainties.