Coronavirus: CBN lists new policy measures to boost economy

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Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced policy measures to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the businesses and the nation’s economy.

The measures include granting a one-year moratorium on all of its intervention funds. Also, through the Deposit Money Banks, the CBN is providing a total of N3trillion to the Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy.

The CBN has also unlocked N2 trillion credit to the economy through the LDR.

The loans are given through the Commercial Credit Guarantee Scheme and the Anchor Borrowers Programme, among others.

Godwin Emefiele listed the measures at a media briefing in Abuja, stating that CBN has agreed to reduce the interest rate on all of its intervention funds from 9% to 5% for a one-year period beginning from March 1 this year.

The CBN will also provide a N50bn credit facility to boost the economy which will be disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank for households and SMEs that had been particularly hard hit by Covid-19.

The credit which will be extended to hoteliers, airlines, service providers, and health care merchants etc, will have a one-year moratorium to reduce the burden of loan repayment by businesses. The implication is that any intervention loan currently under moratorium has been granted additional one-year period.i

Financial institutions participating in the disbursement have been directed to provide new amortisation schedules for all beneficiaries.

Thhe CBN is to grant loans to pharmaceutical companies intending to expand their drug manufacturing plants in Nigeria through its intervention facilities to meet potential increase in demand for healthcare services and products.

This facility will be extended to hospital and healthcare practitioners intending to expand or build first-class health centres.

Emefiele also announced a regulatory forbearance measure for the banking sector, adding that this would grant all the DMBs leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for businesses and households most affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Oil and gas, agriculture, and manufacturing.are also major beneficiaries of CBN’s new policy measures to contain the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

The CBN will also support industry funding levels to maintain the DMBs capacity to direct credit to individuals, households and businesses in view of the success so far recorded in the Loan to Deposit Ratio policy in growing credit to the economy and reducing interest rates.

“We will also consider additional incentives to encourage extension of longer tenor-credit facilities. The DMBs are encouraged to continue to build capital buffers in order to improve resilience of the sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria in furtherance of its financial stability mandate is committed to providing support for affected households, businesses, institutions, and other stakeholders in order to cushion the adverse economic impact of this (coronavirus) pandemic, ” Emefiele said.

– Mar. 17, 2020 @ 11:15 GMT |

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