Uche Usim, Abuja
To avoid what may result in a total collapse of the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning have secured a presidential approval to allow financial systems and money markets run skeletal services during the two-week lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State to check the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
The disclosure was contained in a joint statement released on Monday by Zainab Ahmed, the Finance Minister, and Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor.
It read: “In light of the devastating effects of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) on many countries around the world, we applaud and appreciate the appropriate and proactive restrictions in personal and vehicular movement directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech of Sunday, March 29, 2020.
“We would 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.”
The staff of banks and other affected institutions were directed to await instructions from their immediate bosses.
Bank branches in Lagos had encouraged customers to use alternative banking platforms after the state government restricted gatherings of more than 50 people in an environment.
As more cases of the COVID-19 disease were being recorded across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, announced a total lockdown in the aforementioned states for two days weeks in the first instance.
He said: “All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.”