Covid-19 Recovery: How Nigeria can disburse N50,000 interest-free loans to one million small businesses

Covid-19 Recovery: How Nigeria can disburse N50,000 interest-free loans to one million small businesses

According to a study about the logistics of the Roman Army at War between 264 BC – AD 235;

“Food and drink made up the vast bulk of the supplies needed by a Roman army, since in comparison to modern armies their requirement for large amounts of ammunition was minimal. In addition to feeding its soldiers, the army had also to provide fodder for its mounts and baggage animals.”

From this study, we can draw a very distinct lesson – food can help in winning any war.

Nigeria and other countries are currently fighting a pandemic warfare and here, the army isn’t made up of just the police, soldiers, and other law enforcement groups. The vast majority of the army consists of the general populace. Every man, woman, and child is involved in this fight.

And the secret weapon we all have globally in ensuring we will win this way is simple – STAYING AT HOME. But just like every weapon, without ammunition, our’s won’t fire. The one ammunition we need as a nation to ensure our weapon fires non-stop is for everyone to have access to food during the stay at home period.

And the federal government has the capacity to provide this ammunition and ensure we win this war.

Late in 2019, it granted deposit money banks the approval to debit bank accounts of loan defaulters across all the banks in Nigeria. This might just be the key the federal government needs to disburse up to N50,000 micro interest-free loans to 1 million qualified Nigerians for the purpose of sustenance during this Covid-19 battle.

Lots of entrepreneurs and businesses have been grossly affected by the Covid-19 warfare across the country including job loss. Here in Delta State, businesses like event centers, event planning, private schools, tutorial centers, etc have been greatly affected.

This is also the same situation in other states.

And when there is a shortage of income there will be a rise in hunger. Even if you keep the food supply open, without money to purchase this food, there will be chaos.

The Nigerian government with the help of data can actually carry out an assessment of individual credit history, monthly/yearly turnover (personal or business accounts) and decide who qualifies for an interest-free loan of N50,000.

This said sum will help provide basic needs (food) and medication for families relying on their small scale business. Based on the CBN approval on loan deduction, the whole process – assessment, disbursement, and loan repayment can be done swiftly via banks with good online banking infrastructure without actually gathering any forms of a crowd.

  • The United States of America has approved a Stimulus package of $2 trillion US Dollars.
  • Singapore has set aside $33.17 billion US Dollars to support businesses and households
  • Italy is spending a whopping $82 billion dollars Stimulus package

This is not the time to hoard funds and this is not the time to make a profit from interest rates. Millions of Nigerians out there live from hand-to-mouth and cannot even afford hand sanitizers. The stay at home order will remain a ruse to them unless the government acts.

If there is any time the citizens of Nigeria should feel the impact of the government, it is now. A soft interest-free loan of N50,000 given to 1 million Nigerians (N50 billion naira) will greatly enforce the stay at home order and contribute to winning this war.

After the crises, the loan can be deducted from everyone’s account thanks to the new CBN rule. In the end, it will be a win-win.

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