COVID-19: CBN, Bankers’ Committee to Support Airlines, Media

Prompted by the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Bankers’ Committee, on Tuesday, August 25, unanimously agreed to extend special facilities to Nigerian-registered airlines and media outfits to enable them adequately address the negative impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addressing the Bank Chief Executives at the Bi-monthly virtual meeting of the Bankers’ Committee on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, Emefiele urged the banks to do all within their powers to support airlines in the country, noting that such support was critical to helping the industry recover from the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, he urged the banks to support the efforts of the media industry in Nigeria, to cope with the lingering pandemic, in order to avoid massive job losses in the industry.

It will be recalled that the CBN, in the advent of the corona virus in Nigeria, announced a N1.2 trillion intervention funds to support critical sectors of the economy, N1 trillion of which was to support local manufacturing sector and to boost import substitution. The remaining N100 billion of the intervention fund was to support the health sector in equipping laboratories and enhancing research to produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria.

The CBN, also in March 2020, unveiled guidelines for the implementation of a N100 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s move by the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee might just be an answer to the optimism expressed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who expressed hope that businesses in Nigeria’s aviation sector would have opportunity to access palliatives from the apex bank.

With support expected for the media in Nigeria, many media houses will be able to weather the storm generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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