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Access Bank sets to begin CBN-CIFI policy program for emerging businesses in Nigeria

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Access bank of PLC in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, begins application for access to the Creative Industry Financing Initiatives (CIFI). 

The program aims at financing the various sectors of the creative industry by providing a special fund to stakeholders of the industry as well as infrastructures for capacity building. 

The CIFI program was designed for the various subsectors of the creative industries; movie, music, tech and fashion. Having identified the economic role and importance of the industry, in terms of job creation and foreign exchange earnings essentially, the apex bank thus sets aside a N10bn intervention fund as loans to prospective beneficiaries of the industry.

The Executive Director for Business banking of Access Bank, Mrs Chizoma Okolie, in an interactive section with key stake holders of the fashion industry on Monday in Lagos said unlike previous loans which many had over time describe as mere claims by CBN without providing such money in reality, the apex bank was very committed to the course and Access Bank is certain to ensure that these loans are granted to potential beneficiaries accordingly.  

She said: “We believe that the creative sector is a key driver of the economy, and CBN, in partnership with Access Bank, has come up with this plan. However, some criteria must be met to access these loans. All that is needed is the cooperation of the stakeholders to help their businesses grow. This fund has come about to create jobs and acquire foreign exchange. Therefore, by producing and exporting products from the industry, forex may be gained, rather than buying, for instance, ready-made clothes at the expense of the country’s currency.” 

“For the movies, a lot of the beneficiaries were identified such as the scripts writers, make-up artist, the security men, driver, location manager, and even the food vendors, etc. Therefore funding this subsector would be far-reaching and thus the need to fund locally produced movie. However, some key challenges were observed in the entire value chain, ranging from quality movie production, exhibition, among others. Therefore funds will be provided for state-of-the-art equipments to produce movies in Nigeria. 

“For exhibition, currently it is one million Nigerians to one cinema in Nigeria; hence a fund was set aside to scale up the number of cinemas. Doing these entirely for the movie sector also imply creating more jobs and the possibility of gaining more foreign exchange.
“For the tech industry, funds will be provided to develop a tech hub to train interested students on software engineering. For the trainees also, funds will be made available to cover their training fees for six months.

“In the music industry, funds will be provided for developing an entertainment city where people can be trained on song writing, musical instruments. It will also house a five-thousand-sitting capacity auditorium and working office spaces for record labels; both local and international.” 

“For the fashion industry, a sum was also set aside to build a shared fashion facility; a fashion hub, which contains all equipment for production. In essence, designers can simply take their fabric, go to the facility, pay a rental fee, and have access to numerous machines without owning any equipment, rather than going to foreign countries to produce these same products.

 “However, to bring the idea of a fashion hub to fruition, a group of people cutting across the six geopolitical zones will have to come together to form a consortium to finance such project together with a significant support from the bank. Loans will also be provided for those willing to acquire personal equipment to support their businesses.

To be able to access these loans, beneficiaries will have to demonstrate their ability to create jobs and generate foreign exchange.

Participants will have to satisfy access bank’s requirements such as business plan, credit history report, and 30% equity contribution, amongst others. Interest rate to these loans is at 9% with no hidden charges and flexible tenure.

 All that is required is for practitioners to visit any of Access Bank branches nationwide and their enquiries and request will be attended to accordingly.

Practitioners and beneficiaries are also advised to reach out to the bank  for more enquiries, beneficiaries via emergingbusiness@accessbank.com.

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