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COVID -19: Banks urged to extend financial gestures beyond Lagos

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By Ademola Adeshina 

The senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions have urged Nigeria banks to extend financial assistance in combating the dreaded coronavirus to other parts of the country. 

Senator Uba Sani, representing Kaduna central and chairman of the committee, in a statement on Sunday, urged the financial institutions to look beyond Lagos as other states in the country also need help. 

He stated that the committee is delighted at the stimulus packages being rolled out by Nigerian banks to assist in containing the COVID – 19 pandemic and cushion its effect on Nigerians, especially those resident in Lagos State.

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Sani said further that the gesture is quite commendable and will go a long way in renewing the confidence of Nigerians in the banking sector and project it as highly responsible and responsive.

His words,“We observed with concern that all the interventions are concentrated in Lagos State, which understandably is currently the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria. However, as the COVID 19 virus spreads, other parts of Nigeria seem to have been given little or no consideration. 

“This is unfortunate because the entire country is at risk. Lagos State cannot be safe if other states in the federation are unsafe. Just the way Lagos State requires isolation centre, testing and protection kits, other states are in dire need of the same assistance. 

“If the assistance is evenly distributed and coordinated, we are most likely to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and resume the arduous task of rebuilding our economy. We urge Nigerian banks to review their strategies and come up with inclusive frameworks for intervention. 

“Stimulus packages that includes all states of the federation would be more impactful than one that draws the ire of bank customers across the country and consequently diminishes the confidence of the people in the sector,” he averred.