The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said its branches across the country will remain operational amid widespread of Coronavirus in the country.
Nigeria has reported 46 cases of Coronavirus with Lagos state topping the chart with 30 active patients.
The Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Tuesday obtained by Western Post said, “Following the current impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the global economy coupled with efforts by the Nigerian Government, including partial lockdown in some States and at the Federal level, to check the spread of the virus in Nigeria, the CBN wishes to inform stakeholders and members of the Nigerian public that the Bank will remain open for business during this period.
“As a responsible public institution and regulator, we have triggered our business continuity plans to ensure that the Bank’s operations remain largely undisrupted at this present time when social distancing has become key to checking the further spread of the virus. We have also directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to do the same.
“The welfare and safety of our staff and their families, and indeed all Nigerians, remain a top priority to us.
Consequently, with effect from Wednesday, March 25, 2020, till further notice, the only essential staff of the CBN Head Office and the 37 Branches of the Bank will be expected to report for duty daily. In other words, our staff in non-critical roles have been directed to stay at home and work remotely, when their services are required.”
He explained further that, “We have also directed all our staff to follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN, in line with its mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability will remain open for business during these trying times.”
However, the apex bank announced that it would give a N50billion Targeted Credit Facility to households and small businesses affected by Coronavirus.
Those eligible according to the apex bank must prove that they, their livelihood and business operations have been adversely affected by the spread of the virus.
Businesses eligible for the scheme are agricultural value chain activities, hospitality, health (pharmaceuticals and medical supplies), airline service providers, manufacturing and value addition, and trading.
The maximum amount to be received depending on proof of cash flow of investment size is N25million while households can access N3million with an interest rate of five per cent per annum for a maximum period of one year.
The facility will be administered by the NISRAL Microfinance Bank and the CBN.