Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has placed a hold on its loan repayment plan for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have obtained credit facilities from the bank.
The financial institution took the decision to alleviate the heat of the Coronavirus pandemic on the operations of the SMEs amidst the lockdown.
The lender explained that businesses that obtained Food Industry Credit and Fashion Industry Credit would be issued a 90-day moratorium from repayment of loan. GTBank also afforded individuals who obtained Quick Credit for business the same benefit.
What it means: Small businesses that fall within the aforementioned categories don’t have to repay their loan in the next three months but the interest rates on the facilities will still be paid.
“We have put on hold all repayment on SME laons as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and because small businesses have had to stay closed to stay safe, we are giving a 90-day moratorium on repayment of loans.”
Nairametrics had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari announced a 14-day lockdown which will end this coming week. The president declared the lockdown in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted business activities.
The informal sector and the self-employed have been the most affected, as most of them had to shut down their businesses, compared to large corporations whose workers have been working from home.
So the moratorium by GTBank comes as succour for the small businesses that haven’t enjoyed much relief from President Buhari’s administration. And with the possibility of extending the lockdown, the GTBank moratorium on loan repayment is expected to cover the extension.
Currently, the confirmed cases have increased in hundreds compared to the double-digit Nigeria recorded prior to the lockdown. According to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC), confirmed cases within the country are 305, while 58 persons have been discharged and 7 deaths recorded.
Nigeria’s economy capital, Lagos State, has the highest number of confirmed cases with 163, Abuja 56; Osun 20; Edo 12, and Oyo 11. These are the top five States with highest cases.