The senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions has asked banks to extend assistance in tackling COVID-19 to other parts of the country.
Guaranty Trust Bank a week ago set up a 100-bed intensive care facility in Onikan, Lagos.
But Uba Sani, senator representing Kaduna central and chairman of the committee, in a statement on Sunday, said financial institutions should look beyond Lagos as other states in the country also need help.
“The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions 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,” the statement read.
“This is quite commendable and will go a long way in renewing the confidence of Nigerians in the banking sector and projecting it as highly responsible and responsive.
“We have however 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 COVID19 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 include 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.”
Nigeria has so far recorded 97 COVID-19 cases across 10 states which include Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Benue and the federal capital territory (FCT).