The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is giving one-year moratorium on all principal repayments for COVID-19 intervention loans through its participating other financial institutions with effect from March 1, 2020.
The apex bank said this in a circular signed by Kevin Amugo, the director, financial policy and regulation department, on Wednesday.
It also stated that as part of its continued efforts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on households, businesses and regulated institutions, it had reduced interest rates on its facilities through the participating OFIs from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020.
“The CBN intervention facilities obtained through participating OFIs will be given a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments, also effective March 1, 2020,” it stated.
According to the circular, the OFIs have also been granted leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses affected by COVID-19, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFI subsector.
Isaac Okorafor, the director, corporate communications department at the CBN, said the management’s approval for the restructuring of credit facilities in the OFI subsector was in line with the bank’s desire to alleviate strain on households, businesses and regulated institutions triggered by the lockdown due to COVID-19.
He explained that the CBN would also continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to ensure financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement added that the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the CBN for the month of May 2020 would hold today (Thursday).