By Chika Otuchikere
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reeled out intervention measures to cushion the effect of the raging coronavirus disease on the Nigeria economy.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele in a speech titled ‘Scaling up the response to COVID-19 on Wednesday, announced an increase in its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution by another N1 trillion across all critical sectors of the economy.
The apex bank also announced an additional N100 billion to the N50 billion to small businesses. The governor said the intervention is to support the health authorities to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to patent and or produce vaccines and kits in Nigeria to prepare for any major crises ahead
Furthermore, Mr Emefiele directed all Deposit Money Banks and other regulated entities in the banking industry among others, trigger their business continuity plans to ensure that their staff and families are protected, and their operations remain largely undisputed;
Adhere strictly to the directive, 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 and ensure constant communication with and sensitization of their staff and families on the COVID-19 infection.
The governor disclosed that the CBN had set up the Financial Market Situation Room to monitor global markets and advise adequate response.
Emefiele said: “the CBN will continue to monitor all developments on the COVID-19 infection and design appropriate monetary response to protect the people and economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and indeed turn this adversity into opportunity”