By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed its staff in non-critical roles to stay at home and work remotely, effective Wednesday.
The Bank, however, said it remains fully operational despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen most public institutions scale down their operations.
The banking sector regulator disclosed this in a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.
“Following the current impact of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) on the global economy coupled with efforts by the Nigerian Government, including partial lockdown in some States and at the Federal level, to check the spread of the virus in Nigeria, the CBN wishes to inform stakeholders and members of the Nigerian public that the Bank will remain open for business during this period,” Okorafor explained.
According to him, as a responsible public institution and regulator, the CBN has triggered its business continuity plans to ensure that the Bank’s operations remain largely undisrupted at this present time when social distancing has become key to checking further spread of the virus.
He said the CBN has also directed deposit money banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to do same, adding that the welfare and safety of staff and their families, and indeed all Nigerians, remain top priority to the central bank.
“Consequently, with effect from Wednesday, March 25, 2020, till further notice, only essential staff of the CBN Head Office and the 37 Branches of the Bank will be expected to report for duty daily. In other words, our staff in non-critical roles have been directed to stay at home and work remotely, when their services are required.
“We have also directed all our staff to follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN, in line with its mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability, will remain open for business during these trying times,” the statement added.