Financial System, Money Markets to do Skeletal Operations—FG
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to allow very skeletal operations in the financial system and money markets in order to keep the system in light operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
This approval to exempt the financial system and money markets came after President Buhari announced on Sunday night during a nationwide broadcast that movements in Lagos, Ogun States and Abuja would be restricted for 2 weeks. Lagos remains the financial hub of Nigeria.
In a notice on Monday, the Minister said efforts were made to secure the exemption for the sectors to ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions.
“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 29 March 2020.
“These restrictions are critical to significantly reduce the transmission rate of the disease and make it much easier for 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,” the statement said.
The Minister said, “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,” the Minister said in the statement jointly signed by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.