Zainab Ahmed

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, has stated President Muhammadu Buhari has allowed for skeletal operations in the financial system and money markets during the lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun.

In a circular on Monday titled, “Notice to affected stakeholders and general public regarding COVID-19 and restrictions in movement of persons”, bankers are expected to be handed new directives.

“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 easier for health professional to trace, test and isolate patients.

“To ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use of 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 the 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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