Guaranty Trust Bank, Africa’s foremost financial institution, has placed a hold on its loan repayment plan for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have obtained credit facilities from the bank.
According to the biggest bank by market capitalization, this is to reduce the effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic on SMEs amid the lockdown. The news was shared via its social media handle and was captioned thus, “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and because small businesses have had to stay closed to stay safe, we’re giving a 90-day moratorium on repayment of the following loans.”
The bank explained that the exempted businesses are those in the Food Industry, Fashion Industry, and Quick Credit for businesses would enjoy a moratorium of 90-days on such loans. This means that small businesses in the aforementioned categories have 3-months to continue to pay their loans.
The nation’s capital, Abuja; Lagos and Ogun States have been badly hit by the effect of COVID-19 lockdown order was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari with the aim 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.