The initial order which, however, exempted some persons (financial service providers not included) for an initial period of 14 days will take effect from 11pm Monday, 30th March 2020. During the shutdown, all citizens in the affected states are to stay at home, the President directed.
But in a joint statement signed by Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, seen by THE WITNESS on Monday, said President Buhari granted the exemptions in order to keep the system in light operations during the period.
“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 period.
“We are mindful of the difficulties these restrictions would bring on ordinary Nigerians and we are grateful to the president for approving these exemptions, which should help ease some of the these burdens.” the statement added.
The finance and CBN head-honchos further urged Nigerians “to be patient, cooperative and united as the country battles to defeat Coronavirus.