N180tr Fed Govt’s Consumer Credit scheme set for takeoff

July 2nd, 2024

The Consumer Credit Scheme of the Federal Government will take off with a target of N180 trillion available as loans to the beneficiaries, the agency in charge said at the weekend.

The Consumer Credit Corporation (CreditCorp) plans a take-off with 500,000 beneficiaries by the end of next year.

Already, two million Nigerians have enrolled through the agency’s website.

No fewer than 80 million have been identified by the agency as qualified for the scheme.

This is part of key major campaign promises of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, along with the student loan scheme, which is also due to begin in September.

Chief Executive Officer of CreditCorp, Uzoma Nwagba, told The Nation that the agency was on the last lap of planning for the take-off of the programme.

The goal is to make it possible for economically active Nigerians to have access to funding on credit for items that could make life comfortable for them, without having to pay upfront.

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Nwagba said: “With consumer credit facility, if you have a modest income, you should be able to have access to a vehicle, solar panel, cell phone, laptop, education, house, and other things that improve the quality of your life, and you can pay for it over a prolonged period.”

The CreditCorp, established by the government, is to strengthen the country’s credit infrastructure and provide financial guarantees to institutions that have traditionally been hesitant to lend due to concerns about potential losses.

“The financial system, the people who already do lending today, are the ones who have the capital,” Nwagba said.

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“Our first job is to strengthen the credit infrastructure of the country.”

A key aspect of this initiative is the implementation of a centralised credit scoring system, where every economically active Nigerian will have a credit score tied to their National Identification Number (NIN).

This, Nwagba believes, will prevent consumers from evading their credit obligations.

“It means that every Nigerian who is economically active will have a credit score written on their NIN so that you cannot run away from your credit behaviours,” he said.

The CreditCorp has identified approximately 80 million Nigerians as the target beneficiaries of this consumer credit initiative, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) playing a crucial role as a partner.

“The CBN is a strong partner in this journey with us as well as the credit registry and credit bureaus,” Nwagba said.

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While the financial institutions will be responsible for disbursing the credits, CreditCorp’s role is to enable them to lend more by either providing capital in bulk or offering guarantees.

Nwagba expects that by the end of 2025, a conservative estimate of 500,000 Nigerians will have benefited from consumer credit access, with the ultimate goal of centralising all credit reporting to build confidence among financial institutions.

Regarding the interest rates, Nwagba said while the financial institutions will set the rates, CreditCorp will make it easier for them to lend at more concessionary rates by providing funds or guarantees.

“Beneficiaries of consumer credit will pay back with interest at a concessionary rate, which is usually determined by the financial institutions they work with,” he explained.


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