The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has released Ksh7.4 billion to support the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Reports from PSCU on Friday, March 20, indicate that while handing in the funds, the CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge told the President that the money was gained from the mop-up of the old 1,000 shillings banknotes.
“As you recall in September last year, we concluded the demonetization of our currency relating to our old generation one thousand banknotes. That matter was concluded and as a result of that, Kshs 7.4 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,” the CBK Governor stated.
Njoroge explained that the Central Bank was giving back the money to boost the government’s efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
President Kenyatta, in turn, thanked CBK for the contribution and directed Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani to ensure the money is used to support Kenyans to overcome the current health crisis.
“That money goes to help our health facilities and our health workers. That again is something we appreciate and this is what I mean when I say Kenyans working together can achieve miracles,” he gushed.
The president further committed Ksh1 billion for the hiring of more health workers needed to increase the country’s capacity to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.
He assured the gathering of the private sector players at State House that the additional funds would ensure that the government brings on board enough manpower to support those already in the field working to save lives.
The President’s also discussed a raft of other measures being taken to cushion the country from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, key among them being that outstanding VAT refunds and pending bills would be settled within 30 days to help improve cash flow and keep businesses afloat.
“Critically, we all recognize that the volume of business has gone down. We need to ensure that we have cash flow to be able to keep ourselves afloat as we go through these trying times,” the President stated.