The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee have resolved to extend special facilities to Nigerian-registered airlines and the media industry in Nigeria to enable them to address the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to CBN, the agreement was on the prompting of its Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

It disclosed that Emefiele, while addressing banks’ Chief Executives at the Bi-monthly virtual meeting of the Bankers’ Committee, urged the banks to do all within their powers to support airlines in Nigeria.

The CBN Governor noted that such support was critical to sustaining the industry to recover from the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued by Principal Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Olalekan Ajayi, he urged the banks to support the efforts of the media industry to cope with the lingering pandemic and avoid massive job losses in the sector.

The CBN had in the advent of the coronavirus in Nigeria announced a N1.2tn intervention fund to support critical sectors of the economy, N1tn of which was to support the local manufacturing sector and to boost import substitution.

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The remaining N100bn 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 Central Bank also in March unveiled guidelines for the implementation of a N100bn Targeted Credit Facility as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The directive by the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee might be the answer to the optimism expressed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who remarked that the ministry was hopeful that businesses in Nigeria’s aviation sector would be allowed to access palliatives from the CBN.