Written by Godfrey AKON

Lockdown: CBN wants undisrupted bank services

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says a presidential approval has been obtained to permit critical financial services to function during the period of lockdown in some parts of the country to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The apex bank in a statement by its Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, urged relevant security agencies to grant passage to critical staff of these institutions to enable essential and strategic financial transactions to go undisrupted during the period of the lockdown.

“It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had issued a directive restricting the movement of people – excluding those on essential service – with effect from 11pm on Monday, March 30, 2020, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States, as a response to the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Subsequently, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained Presidential approval to permit critical financial services to function during this period,” the bank said.

According to the bank, the financial institutions approved for operation during the lockdown are: the Central Bank of Nigeria, Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, Plc, Switching companies, Mobile money operators, and payment solution service providers.

CBN also urged the general public to limit their use of cash and avail themselves of the use of alternative payment channels such as mobile banking, internet banking, mobile money, point of sale, and USSD, in view of the ongoing restrictions and in order to check further spread of the corona virus disease.

“The public is therefore assured that financial institutions will remain operational during this period and therefore should guard against panic withdrawals from their banks.

“We also urge all Nigerians to adhere strictly to the movement restrictions and follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb possible spread of the virus in Nigeria,” CBN said.

 

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