The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken a number of decisions from its Bankers Committee meeting on Saturday. The Bankers Committee comprises the CEOs of Nigerian banks. One of the decisions reached is to provide Naira and Fx facilities for local pharmaceutical companies for the production of drugs to combat the global pandemic that has put the world in a standstill, COVID-19.
Revealing the key outcomes from the meeting, the CBN said it felt the need to put the health sector on a solid ground in terms of local production. Recall that CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced a N1.1trn support plan for industries and Nigerians to reduce the bad effects the pandemic. The apex bank approved the sum of N100bn for the health sector and N50bn in credit facility.
Some of the expected beneficiaries of the plan include; Emzor, Glaxosmithkline, May and Baker, Fidson, Swiss Pharma, Unique Pharma, Neimeth, Sagar, Orange Drugs, Dana and other pharmaceutical companies.
The committee also discussed among other things its N50bn targeted credit facilities for affected households and SMEs, reduced interest rate from 9% to 5%, granting regulatory forbearance to banks to restructure terms of facilities in other sectors, improving Fx supply to CBN by directing all oil companies to sell their FX directly to the apex bank and not to the NNPC, N1.5trn InfraCo to boost local infrastructure, N1.5trn to boost local production and manufacturing sector.
All these combined amount to over N3.5trn combined in economic stimulus to ease the unsavoury effects of COVID-19.