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Banks Now Exempted From Lockdown



Paul Dada

President Muhammadu Buhari has now exempted banks and other financial services outfits from the lockdown which he on Sunday night imposed on the Abuja, Lagos and Ogun, as a measure to combat the ravaging Coronavirus disease.

This was revealed in a statement jointly signed by Minister of Finance, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The statement said the duo had e secured the approval of the president to exempt key players in the financial services sector the movement restrictions.

Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, said, “based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.”

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He had however, exempted some critical sectors of the economy from the lockdown. The financial services sector was not exempted in the president’s speech.

But the joint statement issued on Monday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and CBN governor, said:

” 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”.

“All relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies should look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses”.

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