By James Emejo
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Monday said they have obtained exemptions from President Muhammadu Buhari to “allow very skeletal operations in the financial system and money markets in order to keep the system in light operations during this time”.
In a joint statement, both explained that the move was to ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs while observing the recent restrictions of movement aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Buhari, had in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, announced restrictions in personal and vehicular movement in Lagos and Ogun States and Abuja to tackle the spread of the virus which had affected 111 persons as at March 29.
The statement said: “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.”
It further directed all relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies to “look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses”.
Ahmed and Emefiele particularly applauded and appreciated “the appropriate and proactive restrictions in personal and vehicular movement directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech of Sunday 29 March 2020”, adding that “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.”