Nigeria needs N120bn to combat COVID-19: Emefiele

Posted by News Express | 27 March 2020 | 812 times

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• CBN Governor Emefiele


The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, said Nigeria would require about N120billion to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The Governor said this was the outcome of the Nigerian private sector-led coalition against COVID-19. 

The CBN, on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee, and in partnership with the private sector led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank have come together to form the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19. 

“This Coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria. 

 “The rate at which the virus is spreading is unprecedented and it appears we are fighting our most lethal adversary to date. “Information gathered so far revealed that to procure all the needed equipment, material, and all infrastructure needed to fight this pandemic, over N120billion need to be raised. 

“The Bankers’ Committee and these important stakeholders will be required to step up to support this endeavor. “We are already engaging other important stakeholders in Nigeria and abroad, such as the NNPC and players in the oil industry. 

An account will be set up at the Central Bank of Nigeria to receive both Naira and foreign currency from our donors,” Emefiele said. 

A Funding Committee which will be responsible for the initial funding of the effort has membership comprising of the CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola. Each member of the committee is to ensure that their institution contribute at least N1billion to this effort. More members are allowed as long as they are willing to contribute at least N1billion, Daily Trust learnt. 

Daily Trust reports that the CBN last Thursday hinted of its plans to provide another N1trillion intervention fund to support key sectors of the economy amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country. 

This came some days after the apex bank announced a six-point palliative to ameliorate the continued impact of the coronavirus on the nation’s economy and supply chains. It will be recalled that the CBN had earlier also dropped interest rates on all its intervention funds from 9 percent to 5 percent. 

The apex bank had also announced additional N50billion intervention fund to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to mitigate the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the affected enterprises nationwide. 

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who  disclosed this last Monday while briefing the media on strategic measures by the bank to tackle the challenges raised by the virus within the domestic economy, also announced other interventions to cover healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, oils and gas, among others. (Daily Trust)

Source: News Express

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