Post COVID-19: Financial Expert Calls For Moratorium On Debts Repayment, Interest Rate Cuts.

MD/CEO Maxifund Securities Limited, Okechukwu Unegbu.

By Barnabas Esiet.
Following the devastating consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses and the economy, the Managing Director of Maxifund Securities Limited, Okechukwu Unegbu, has asked Nigerian banks to consider granting their debtors some concessions that would enable them recover to settle their obligations.

The former Bank CEO and President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria made the call on a webinar forum, with the theme: “COVID-19 and the Future of Banking”, organized in Lagos by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, FICAN.

Onegbu advised Financial Institutions to seek mediation with their customers rather than litigation.

“All parties, including the banks and their customers, have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no exception but I expect banks to sit down with their clients and find out ways to enable them launch back and then settle their indebtedness,” He said.

He suggested that banks should offer their debtors moratorium on the principal and at least 50 per cent reduction on the interest rates.

The Maxifund Securities Boss urged Banks to partner Fintech companies and encourage the growth of mortgage institutions that would provide enhanced services and longer term credit facilities.

“The future of banking in the post COVID-19 era would include digital operation and strong partnership with Fintech companies, enhanced cyber security, widening of financial inclusion, improved lending and creation of credits, mortgage financing and staff training.” Onegbu noted.

Unegbu expressed hope that Nigeria would witness a “U” curve rather than a “W” curve in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The “U” curve would enable the country to exit the pandemic once and for all while a “W” curve would mean another resurgence of the pandemic after the current experience, which would be very devastating to the economy.” He explained.

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