By Sanya Adejokun
Abuja (Precise Post) – The federal government through the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday announced another set of N1.1 trillion economic stimulus packages to help whittle down the effects of Covid-19 on Nigerians and the economy.
In a statement he personally issued, Emefiele said the additional packages were in addition to the six measures he rolled out last week.
“In addition to the N50 billion soft loans to small businesses already announced, the CBN will increase its intervention by another N100 billion in loan this year to support the Health Authorities 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.
The details of how these facilities can be accessed will be released soon.
“Secondly, given the continuing impact of the disease on global supply chains, the CBN will increase its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution by another N1trillion across all critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that CBN management will meet with the Bankers Committee this Saturday to work out the modalities.
The Governor added that an implementation committee that will action the private sector contribution of N1.5 trillion Infrastructure funding that will link farming communities to markets as agreed at the Going for Growth Roundtable last week will be set-up next week.
According to him, the measures became necessary given growing global risks over the pandemic “especially given the dire state of oil revenues today which attained $25 per barrel and in the near term.”
The apex bank directed all Deposit Money Banks to increase their support to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries in local drug manufacturing, in increased bed count in hospitals across Nigeria, in funding intensive care as well as in training, laboratory testing, equipment, and R&D.
CBN has equally set-up the Financial Markets Situation Room to monitor global markets and advise adequate response.
It advised banks and other regulated entities in the banking industry to trigger their business continuity plans to ensure that their staff and families are protected, and their operations remain largely undisrupted.
“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.
“Ensure regular and appropriate sanitization of their premises and make available in all their locations adequate sanitization materials.
“Discourage large gatherings of staff and customers.
“Ensure constant communication with and sensitization of their staff and families on the COVID-19 infection.”