As one of its attempts to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has extended a three-month interest moratorium for all taxpayer-funded loans. This was confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari in a national presidential broadcast on Sunday night.
The moratorium would include Tradermoni, Marketmoni, Farmermoni and all loans provided by the Bank of Business, the Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Fund.
He said, “I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.
“I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.”
The President clarified that the economic consequences of the pandemic, defined by the World Health Organization as a global epidemic, could not be overlooked, thus the decision of the federal government to adopt palliative steps.
He acknowledged that the government had instructed financial institutions to consult with foreign and multilateral development partners and to seek specific compromises for lenders.
The President announced that a range of palliative steps should be implemented to address what has become a “health emergency and economic disaster,” adding that arrangements had been made for disadvantaged citizens in community and internally displaced individuals who are not in a position to fend for themselves until the shutdown.
“For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks,” he said.
Buhari thanked the private sector stakeholders and individuals who had contributed their assistance to the war against COVID-19, and promised that all donations should be organized to ensure that the appropriate bodies invested on them.
He said that the government is ready and determined to mobilize all the tools required to counter the scourge and encouraged Nigerians to take responsibility for protecting the needy among them.
“As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals,” he said.
After the announcement of the first occurrence, the numbers have gradually risen to 111 confirmed cases on Sunday, 29 March 2020.