As part of its support and adoption of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), Access Bank Plc recently organised a two-day forum in Lagos.
The CIFI is a CBN’s initiative developed in collaboration with the Banker’s Committee to boost job creation, develop local capacity, preserve foreign exchange and ensure empowerment within the creative industry.
The first tranche of the CIFI loan has over N20 billion set aside to be disbursed and made easily accessible to borrowers within the creative industry.
The loan, which has a maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum, has a repayment period of up to 10 years.
The Access Bank Creative Sector Loan forum brought together players from four sectors of the creative industry namely music, movie, fashion and information technology.
According to a statement, each day of the forum held two panel sessions. The first day was for movies and music, while the second day was for the IT and the fashion industry.
“Each session was interactive with experts in legal, tax/financial, and business consulting on the panel. Also, on the panel were Access Bank representatives who were on hand to answer questions and explain the loan eligibility requirements,” the statement added.
The Executive Director, Business Banking at Access Bank, Mrs. Chizoma Okoli, assured various industry players present, that CIFI would be a great boost for the entertainment industry.
She highlighted that Access Bank was the first bank to have submitted its applications to the CBN to provide these loans.
According to her, “CBN’s CIFI was developed to support the creative sector and to enable the sector build capacity and create more jobs. “Access Bank, being the first bank to have successfully submitted its application to the CBN, understands the necessary documentation required to access this loan.
“This is why the bank put together this 2 Day forum to help our customers by simplifying and guiding them through the loan process”
Also speaking at the forum, a member of the Banker’s Committee, Mr. Abidemi Adebayo, who is also Access Bank Zonal Head Business Banking Division, Lekki, explained that, “The CBN reviewed the creative sector, and found that the sector had a lot of employment potentials. So, it identified four key components – music, movies, IT and fashion and invited key players in the industry for a discussion to understand the issues plaguing each of these sector. This resulted in the creation of the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) which is aimed at boosting job creation, scaling up capacity and driving growth for the industry.”
“We are gathered here today at the Access Bank Creative Sector Loan forum to make sure we help you, our customers, understand how the loan works and to ensure seamless access to the loan,” he added.
In attendance at the forum were prominent stakeholders including Ralph Nwadike, the President of the Movie Producers Association of Nigeria; Funmi Ladipo, the President of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria; Noble Igwe; veteran actors such as Segun Arinze and Hilda Dokunbo, Chinenye Mba -Uzoukwu, the former General Manager (Anglophone west Africa) Microsoft, (who is now the Managing Partner of Grand Central), D’Banj and a host of other key talents in the industry.