Coronavirus: Buhari exempts banks, others from lockdown

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Banks and other key players in the financial services sector have been exempted from the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja following an approval the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) secured from President Buhari.

Recall that in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday March 29, President Buhari declared a 14 day curfew in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja. According to him, the lockdown order came based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC.

However in a joint statement issued on Monday March 30 by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed and CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, financial institutions were directed to ensure skeletal operations in the Financial System and Money Markets in order to keep the system in light operations during this time.

The statement reads;

”To ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, we will like to inform the general public and all affected stakeholders that we have obtained exemptions from the President to allow very skeletal operations in the Financial System and Money Markets in order to keep the system in light operations during this time.

“All relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies should look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses.

“We are mindful of the difficulties these restrictions would bring on ordinary Nigerians and are grateful to the President for approving these exemptions, which should help ease some of these burdens.”

Nigerian were also urged to be patient, cooperative and united as all hands are on deck to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.