Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Nigerian multinational financial institution, Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB, has renewed the hopes of its customers in the face of the current challenges posed by the pandemic.
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The bank, the first sub-Saharan bank and first Nigerian joint stock company to be listed on London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse, announced that it has it suspended all repayments on all Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, due to the present lockdown which has seen many businesses shut down for days.
The Federal Government, following directives from President Muhammadu Buhari, called for a lockdown of major states including Lagos, Ogun States and Abuja. The lockdown has restricted movements and commercial activities in the states, as part of measure to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
According to his statement by GT Bank, Small and Medium Scale business owner now have additional time to redeem their loan payments.
The Statement said:
We’ve put on hold all repayments on SME Loans.
As a result of COVID -19 pandemic, and because small businesses have had to stay closed to stay safe, we are giving a 90-day moratorium on the repayment of the following loans including Food Industry Credit, Fashion Industry Credit, Quick Credit for Business.
In the meantime, the move by the bank follows the commissioning of the newly built COVID-19 isolation centre at the main bowl of the Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson Arena by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
GT Bank, in partnership with the Lagos State government made the facility available in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, tweeted:
Today, I joined the Governor of Lagos @jidesanwoolu, the Comissioner for information @gbenga_omo, CEO of @gtbank, Segun Agbaje and other dignitaries to Comission the 110 bed spaces for #COVID19Lagos Isolation centre at Moboliji Johnson stadium, Onikan.
Meanwhile, GT Bank, with branches in ten other countries, recognizes the critical role played by SMEs in job creation and economic development. The bank, for these reasons, intervened by strengthening them through capacity-building and non-profit consumer-driven fairs, that empower SMEs with new expertise that increases their economic impact.