COVID-19: What will the government do with the ₦1.1trn released by CBN?

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN earlier in March released a total of ₦1.1 trillion Naira following the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country. The outbreak which has caused temporary shutdown and suspension of various social and business activities has been projected to cause some economic difficulties in the country, so the bank decided to inject some money into the system to stimulate the economy.

The economic intervention, CBN said will help in boosting local manufacturing for import substitution across all critical sectors of the economy. The bank also specified that N100 billion would be used to support health facilities to ensure laboratories, researchers and medical professionals have access to medical supplies like vaccines and test kits in preparation for any major outbreak ahead.

The task of monitoring, testing and reporting cases of COVID-19 rests on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC under the Federal Ministry of Health. The government has set aside some health support funds to the agency while it moves to create synergy with state governments on the management of the COVID-19 cases in each state.

According to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, the fund provided will serve as a sort of defense mechanism to the essential sectors whose inability to function optimally may create a negative impact on the masses.

"The CBN has responded in several ways, first by supporting hospitals and pharmaceutical industry with low interest loans to immediately deal with the public health crises," Emefiele said in a statement. 

"These measures are deliberately designed to both support the Federal Government's immediate fight against COVID-19, but also to build a more resilient, more self-reliant Nigerian economy."

He said an implementation committee would be set up to properly utilize the private sector's contribution of N1.5 trillion for infrastructure funding to link farming communities to markets.

The CBN boss enjoined banks to adhere strictly to the directives, advice, and notices from the ministry of health, National Centre for Disease Control and other relevant government agencies on national response measures to COVID-19.

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