The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced an intervention fund of N1.1trillion to reduce the biting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the announcement on Wednesday, days after announcing a N50bn credit facility for small and medium enterprises.
In a statement, he said the out of the N1.1tn, about N1tn would be used to support the local manufacturing sector as well as boost import substitution.
He added that the balance of N100bn would be used to support the health authorities to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to patent and produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria.
“First the CBN is directing 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.
“In addition to the N50bn soft loans to small businesses already announced, the CBN will increase its intervention by another N100bn in loans this year to support health authorities.
“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 N1tn across all critical sectors of the economy.”
Emefiele also said the management of the apex bank will meet with the Bankers Committee on Saturday at 10 a.m to discuss ways forward.