In order to reduce the burden of the total lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday to curtail the spread of coronavirus, banks have been permitted to continue rendering low scale financial services.
A joint statement by Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, noted that special exemption has been obtained to allow banks operate skeletal services in addition to leading ATMs for customer use.
The statement was titled: Notice to Affected Stakeholders and General Public Regarding Covid-19 and Restrictions in Movement of Persons.
It read in part “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 a personal and vehicular movement directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech of Sunday 29 March 2020.
“These restrictions are critical to significantly reduce the transmission rate of the disease and make it much easier for a health professional 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.”