By Etuka Sunday
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele said, so far, the apex bank has released the sum of N1.150 trillion to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the Nigerian economy.
Emefiele stated this while speaking the launch of the THISDAY Dome COVID -19 Testing, Tracing & Treatment Center in Abuja.
He said, “the bank has implemented several initiatives such as the N50billion intervention facility for small and medium scale enterprises affected by COVID-19; in addition to the N1 trillion facility for firms operating in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
He said, “CBN recently launched a N100bn healthcare intervention fund, which Practitioners in the Pharmaceutical and health care sectors would be able to access at single digit rate.”
The governor noted, in Nigeria, the economy was exposed to triple shocks – a supply shock, a demand shock and a revenue shock, adding that currently the country is faced with a public health and economic crisis of unprecedented proportions, driven primarily by the 55 percent drop in crude oil prices between January and May 2020.
“This unparalleled shock requires that the Federal and State governments along with the organized private sector, work together to address these challenges in order to preserve lives and restore economic activity and reset the economy of our dear country,” he said.
Emefiele said, “so far, the CA-COVID-19 has raised up to N27 Billion to fund these initiatives. These donations are being used to build well equipped isolation centres across the 36 states of the federation.
“The THISDAY Dome Testing, Tracing and Treatment Centre being launched today represents a part of the support being provided by the CA – COVID alliance. These measures will result in the addition of close to 4,000 hospital beds across the country and will serve as a significant boost towards our efforts at containing the spread of COVID-19.
“So, CACOVID has equipped and handed over Isolation Centres in Rivers, Enugu, Kwara, Ondo, and Borno States. It is expected that all other Isolation Centres will be handed over in other States of the country by May 23, 2020.
“In a bid to compliment the efforts of the government in providing palliatives to those affected by the containment measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus, CA-COVID is also providing in-kind assistance in the form of food items to indigent Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation.
“These efforts are noteworthy as members of the Nigerian private sector have stood up to be counted when it mattered most to our dear country.
“I would like to once again thank members of the CA – COVID alliance for their commitment in meeting the needs of vulnerable Nigerians, especially in these extraordinary times,” he said.
He commended the Management of THISDAY Media Group, and their partners, for putting together the team that set up this magnificent care centre, which encompasses testing, tracing and treatment to help in boosting Nigeria’s capacity to adequately contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Federal Capital Territory and beyond.