President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that all loans received from government institutions be given a three-month moratorium.
The president announced the directive during his state broadcast on Sunday.
The moratorium is applicable to loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Export Import Bank, TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.
“For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pain of the borrowers,” the president said.
“For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately.
“Our internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.”
Buhari also urged Nigerians to support the vulnerable in their communities with “whatever they may need”.
Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, had earlier said the government was working to identify vulnerable people in the society to whom stipends would be given.
The minister had said fiscal incentives could not be announced in a rush due to the country’s “fragile fiscal situation”.
The COVID-19 outbreak in the country has crippled some businesses after state governments announced movement restrictions and a ban on large gatherings to reduce the spread of the virus.
As at 7pm on Sunday, Nigeria had recorded a total of 97 confirmed cases of the disease.