Kenya Seeks Ksh115 Billion to Fight Coronavirus [VIDEO]

  • Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge addresses a news conference at the Central Bank's buildings on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
    Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge addresses a news conference at the Central Bank's buildings on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
    Citizen Digital
  • Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge on Tuesday, March 24, announced at a press conference details of inflows expected to cushion the economy from the effects of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    Njoroge revealed that they expected USD50 Million (Ksh5 Billion) in the short term from the World Bank to effectively respond to the crisis.

    He further stated that Kenya had requested an additional USD350 Million (Ksh35 Billion) in budgetary assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    Njoroge further stated that Kenya had sought separate budgetary support of around USD750 Million (Ksh75 Billion) from the World Bank, bringing the total expected inflows to Ksh115 billion.

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "The request has already been sent in, and therefore we expect something in the order of 50 million US Dollars in the very near term.

    "We are also working with the IMF for emergency assistance, this is assistance that doesn't have the conditionalities of programs. This is emergency assistance and it is directed to emergencies like the one we are looking at," he stated.

    Part of the funds will be chanelled directly to the Ministry of Health to facilitate various programs as part of the country's Covid-19 response.

    Njoroge further announced that the country's economy was unlikely to register annual growth of 6.2% as had been predicted before the pandemic hit.

    The governor also spoke on measures meant to protect borrowers affected by the pandemic; with banks directed to review extension requests on loans for a period of up to one year.

    "To provide relief on personal loans, banks will review requests from borrowers for extension of their loans for a period of up to one year and borrowers were advised to contact their own respective banks to initiate this process," Njoroge noted.

    On Friday, March 20, the Central Bank had released Ksh7.4 billion meant to support government efforts to combat the Coronavirus.

    Speaking at a ceremony at State House, Nairobi, Njoroge stated that the billions were from a mop-up of the old-generation currency notes by the CBK.

    “As you recall in September last year we concluded the demonetisation of our currency relating to our old generation Sh1,000 banknotes. That matter was concluded and as a result of that, Sh7.4 billion worth of banknotes never came back to the system.

    “That money would have been held by people who, for whatever reason, did not want to subject themselves to the checks that were in place. So most likely this was money that might have been illicitly acquired through the various channels that we have talked about in other forums,” Njoroge stated.

    Uhuru tasked Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani with ensuring the funds were well spent to protect citizens from the virus, with sixteen cases far confirmed in Kenya.

    Watch a video of part of Njoroge's press conference below: