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Business, Economy

Nigeria’s creative industry gets a boost as CBN opens access to N533m CIFI fund

Respite is coming the way of operators in Nigeria’s creative industry as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday released the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), calling on youths into creative business to go to their bank of choice to access funds up to N533 million at 9 percent interest rate.

The CIFI, which is part of efforts to boost job creation in Nigeria, particularly among the youths, was developed by the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee.

The initiative, targeted at providing funds for the creative art industry, according to the apex bank, comes in four pillars – fashion, information technology, movie, and music.

“Interested applicants in the creative industry are hereby advised to submit applications to their banks for approval and disbursement,” the CBN said on its website on Monday.

Through the notification seen , the lender is inviting Nigerians who have business in fashion, ICT, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student to apply for loans which at a maximum of 9 percent interest per year.

“You can get a loan of up to: (a) N3 million for software engineering student; (b) N30 million for movie production business; (c) N500 million for movie distribution business; (d) cover your rental/service fees for fashion and information technology business; (e) cover your training fees, equipment fees, and rental/service fees for music business,” the apex bank said.

Interested persons are to prepare their business plan or statement on how much they want for their business.

Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/CEO, Access Bank plc, had told journalists after the Bankers’ Committee meeting last month that some advertorials would be out in the market for eligible people who want to participate in each of fashion, information technology, movie, and music.

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Wigwe said it was a big initiative that would lead to employment of about 300,000 youths in five years time, as well as lead to a significant accumulation of foreign exchange and savings.

On how to access these loans, the CBN in the notification on its website instructed that interested persons should go to any bank of their choice to get the funds.

The apex bank said that the period for repayment of the loan was a maximum of three years for Software Engineering student loan, a maximum of 10 years for movie production and distribution, and a maximum of 10 years each for fashion, information technology (IT) and music.

Most recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Nigeria’s unemployment rate ballooned to a nine-year high of 23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile, the number of people in Nigeria has now climbed to 201 million in 2019, figures compiled from the State of World Population Report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) show.

According to the data by UNFPA, a UN organisation that focuses on population activities around the world, more than half of Nigeria’s total population falls in the working age bracket.

Africa’s most populous nation has 54 percent of its total population within the age bracket 15-64 years old, spurred by the 2.6 percent average annual growth rate the country has reported in the last nine years.

“Nigeria has a dynamic economy and a large population expected to double in the next two decades,” UNFPA said.

The recent data by UNFPA are in line with the projections of an earlier report in 2017 by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs which projected that Nigeria will overtake US and become world’s third most populous country by the year 2050.

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“Unemployment rate will not reduce when the country is producing more than it can feed. It would require about 6-8 percent or more in GDP growth for there to be a decline in the continuous rise of unemployment in the country,” Bismarck Rewane, managing director/CEO of Lagos-based Financial Derivatives Company, said.

Source: By HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE & ENDURANCE OKAFOR

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