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By Camillus Eboh
ABUJA, March 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank will inject 1 trillion naira ($3.27 billion) into local manufacturing and import substitution to stimulate the economy, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s economy, the largest in Africa, is stumbling as the shockwaves of the coronavirus outbreak hit the country. It is struggling for foreign income from oil production amid a price crash caused by a decline in demand from China and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
“Given the continuing impact of the disease on global supply chains, (the bank) will increase its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution,” said Godwin Emefiele, the central bank governor.
The bank is also offering 100 billion naira in loans to the health sector, as Africa’s most populous country announced its eighth confirmed coronavirus case on Wednesday.
The health sector loan aims to “support the health authorities to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to patent and/or produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria to prepare for any major crises ahead,” Emefiele said.
Earlier this week the central bank said it would create a 50 billion naira fund to combat the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the country. ($1 = 306.0000 naira) (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Mark Heinrich)