Banks Get Approval from President to Operate Skeletal Services During Lockdown

As Nigeria prepares for the 14 days lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a special exemption to the Financial Service sector to allow Banks provide skeletal services to support the members of the public during the period. This was contained in a memo jointly issued on Monday, 30 March 2020 by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.


The Memo titled: Notice to affected stakeholders and general public regarding COVID-19 and restrictions in movement of persons, reads:

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 29th of March, 2020. These restrictions are critical to significantly reduce the transmission rate of the disease and make it much easier for health professionals to trace, test and isolate patients.

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.

To this end, 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. We urge all Nigerians to be patient, cooperative and united as all hands are on deck to defeat this virus.


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