COVID-19: Banks to run skeletal services during 14-day lockdown

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ministry of finance, budget and national planning says it has received approval from the president to allow financial systems and money markets to run skeletal services during the lockdown.

This is according to a joint statement released by Zainab Ahmed, the finance minister, and Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Sunday, announced a 14-day lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja effective from 11pm on Monday.

“All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period,” the president had said.

The joint statement released on Monday 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.

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