AGRICULTURE BUSINESS NEWS

BOI provides more loans, moratorium for Covid-19 hit sectors in Nigeria

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Bank of Industry (BOI) is to deepen support for agro-processing, food processing, technology, healthcare and pharmaceuticals to stimulate economic recovery and growth amid the ravaging coronavirus pandemic while making financial contributions to the relief efforts of governments and the organised private sector.

At a webinar on overcoming business challenges presented by the pandemic, the bank’s Managing Director, Kayode Pitan, said “it was an additional response to the significant changes in the global and local operating landscape”.

Pitan noted that Nigeria, “like many countries around the world, has not been immune to the economic headwinds created by the COVID-19 pandemic and has therefore been impacted with revenue shortfall and the fear of possible recession; low investor confidence; downgrade of credit ratings and difficulty in funding social intervention programmes due to reduced revenue projections”, a Vanguard report said.

The bank had responded with a number of measures to reduce the economic impact on customers by reducing interest on its direct line of credit by two per cent for one year from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

It also granted a three-month moratorium on principal repayment to all beneficiaries of the BOI Fund from April 1, 2020 to June 31, 2020, with an option to extend by up to 12 months for customers with proper justification on case by case basis.

For loans issued under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention programme and in line with a CBN directive, the bank reviewed interest rate downwards to 5per cent per annum, with a 3-month moratorium. Also the bank worked with the Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) to reduce interest rates on credit facilities approved under the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund from 8per cent per annum to 6 per cent per annum, including extension of the moratorium period.

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