The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has partnered with the Bankers’ Committee to offer loans of up to N500 million for businesses in the creative industry.
As part of its Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), the CBN will disburse loans at a 9% interest rate through Nigerian banks to creative businesses which satisfy the eligibility requirements. The CIFI loan has a flexible repayment period spanning 3 to 10 years.
To qualify for the CIFI loan, applicants should operate businesses in any of these areas: Fashion, Information Technology, Movie Production, Movie Distribution and Music distribution. Loans are available for Software Engineering students as well.
Software Engineering students can access up to N3 million while Movie Production businesses can get as much as N30 million. A maximum loan of N500 million is available for Movie Distribution businesses.
For Fashion and Information Technology businesses, the loan will cover rental/service fees. Similarly, the loan will offset rental fees as well as training/equipment fees for Music businesses.
How to Apply for CIFI Loan Through Banks
Businesses can apply online for the CBN creative industry loan through their banks. Each bank may require additional eligibility criteria.
For instance, GTBank demands a Credit Bureau Report with no unpaid obligations and a satisfactory CRMS report while Access Bank requires 3-year audited accounts for existing companies, Tax Identification Number (TIN), among others.
Here are the steps involved to apply online:
1. Apply through the GTBank CIFI Portal
First, log on to the GTBank CIFI portal here. Asterisked (*) sections are required. Click “Apply Today” to proceed.
2. Enter Personal and Business Names
Start filling the application form by entering your full name and the registered name of your business. Also enter your 11-digit mobile number. Scroll down to continue.
3. Fill in Bank Details and Email
At this stage, select your bank from the drop-down menu. Fill in the 10-digit account number of your selected bank. Double-check to ensure there are no errors.
Enter your email address and re-enter to confirm.
4. Select Business Sector and Submit
This is the final stage of your online application. Select the creative sector your business falls under – Fashion, Movie Production/Distribution, IT, Music or Student Software Development.
Click “Submit” to complete your application. Alternatively, Access bank customers may choose to apply here.
Once your application is approved as successful, you will have to visit a bank branch and present original supporting documents as requested by your bank. Note that the GT Bank allows holders of other bank accounts apply through its portal. So do other banks. So you could literally apply from any bank’s portal you wish to.