COVID-19: CBN hacks rates, creates N50bn facility to support Healthcare, Hotels, Airlines others

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced reduction of interest rates in all its intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one year to ameliorate the effect of coronavirus pandemic.

Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday. Emefiele said the reduction of the interest rates took effect from March 1.

He disclosed that the bank has also extended moratorium of all CBN intervention facilities on all principal repayment for one year effective from March 1.

The CBN governor explained that this means that any intervention loan currently under moratorium is hereby granted additional period of one year.

Emefiele thus directed all financial institutions to provide new schedule for all facilities for their beneficiaries.

The CBN also created a facility through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Micro Finance Banks to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that had been hit by covid-19.

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Emefiele said the sum of N50 billion would be given through NIRSAL to support business owners like hoteliers, airlines, service providers, and healthcare merchants among others.

Emefiele also announced credit support for healthcare industry to meet potential increase in demand for healthcare services and products.

“CBN hereby, opens its intervention facilities, loans to pharmaceutical companies intending to expand or establish their own drugs manufacturing companies in Nigeria.

“This will also be extended to hospitals and healthcare practitioners who intend to expand or build healthcare facilities to first class standard.

“This is in addition to growing the size of our existing intervention to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors in the country,’’ he said.

Emefiele noted that these interventions were necessary because of the effect of COVID-19 on global economy including Nigeria.

He said thousands of people had been affected while thousands were also killed by COVID-19, hence leaders of different countries had started to respond by taking actions to mitigate the pain caused by the outbreak.

The CBN governor added that initial assessment showed that the consequences of the health crisis on different countries would affect the economy.

He said that with this development, the global economy would go into recession, adding that these measures being taken by CBN were necessary.

COVID-19: CBN hacks rates, creates N50bn facility to support Healthcare, Hotels, Airlines others