Published on: Wednesday, July 15, 2020
One of the first things Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank did with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was to get in touch with local authorities to see how the bank could help. Recognizing that the fragile public healthcare system would struggle to cope with the predicted number of patients, it offered to set up a care facility for people with Covid-19.
“We saw it as an opportunity to give back,” says GTBank chief execu tive Segun Agbaye. “And we delivered the 110-bed isolation centre. We’ve built a de facto hospital and continue to maintain the entire facility.”
GTBank worked with partners across several industries and delivered the facility in just five days. The project drew support from other companies across finance, health, construction and retail; and the bank was able to turn the facility into a hospital with intensive care beds, a pharmacy, consultation room, doctors’ quarters and other healthcare essentials.
GTBank also donated N1 billion ($2.6 million) to the government’s relief efforts and has played a leading role in the private-sector coalition against Covid-19 (CaCovid), which works in partnership with the government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to combat the pandemic in Nigeria.
As part of CaCovid, the bank provides and equips medical facilities across the country to ensure Nigeria has adequate testing, isolation and treatment facilities. Recognizing that the pandemic will hit small businesses particularly hard, GTBank has also granted small and medium-sized enterprises a grace period of 90 days on all loan payments. It is also developing other resources to help SMEs better understand and navigate the impact of the pandemic.