The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has concluded plans to increase some interventions by N1.1 trillion owing to the continuing impact of the coronavirus on global supply chains.
This was contained in a statement signed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Wednesday.
Emefiele explained that the bank would increase its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution by another N1 trillion across all critical sectors of the economy.
He said the management of the CBN would meet on Saturday with the Bankers Committee to work out the modalities.
The CBN governor said in addition to the N50 billion soft loans to small businesses already announced, the CBN would increase its intervention by another N100 billion in loan this year.
He said the fund would be used to support health facilities to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to patent and or produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria to prepare for any major crises ahead.
Emefiele also said there would be another N1.5 trillion for an Implementation Committee that would action the private sector contribution for Infrastructure funding that would link farming communities to markets.
He noted that this was in agreement at the Going for Growth Roundtable convened by the apex bank with stakeholders recently.
According to him, details of how these facilities can be accessed will be released soon.
He said: “You will all recall that last week, we hosted The Going for Growth 2.0 Roundtable at the CBN Headquarters in Abuja to consult with critical stakeholders on Nigeria’s Growth projections for Year 2020 and beyond.
“During the Roundtable, we considered many scenarios on the impact of COVID-19 disease on the Global and Nigerian Economy.
“On Monday, March 16. we announced our initial 6-point palliatives to ameliorate the impact of the disease on the economy.
“Today, given growing global risks we are ramping up our response, especially given the dire state of oil revenues today which attained 25 dollars per barrel and in the near term.”
Meanwhile, Emefiele said the apex bank had directed all Deposit Money Banks to increase their support to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
He said the same support should be extended to local drug manufacturing, in increased bed count in hospitals across the country, in funding intensive care as well as in training, laboratory testing, equipment and Research and Development.
The governor advised all Deposit Money Banks and other regulated entities in the banking industry to trigger their business continuity plans to ensure that their staff and families were protected.
He urged the institutions to ensure their operations remained largely undisrupted.
The CBN boss enjoined the banks to adhere strictly to the directives, advice and notices from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control and other relevant government agencies on national response measures to COVID-19.
Emefiele said: “Ensure regular and appropriate sanitisation of their premises and make available in all their locations adequate sanitisation materials.
“Discourage large gatherings of staff and customers and ensure constant communication with and sensitisation of their staff and families on the COVID-19 infection.”
According to him, the CBN will continue to monitor all developments on the COVID-19 infection and design appropriate monetary response to protect the people and economy of the country and indeed turn this adversity into opportunity.