Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN.

BY EMEKA EJERE

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed some of its staff members to stay at home in line with the nation’s efforts to minimize the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

The apex bank in a statement disclosed that although it is not shutting its doors to business, only designated staff members would report to work daily.

The CBN further directed all staff members 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 the possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.

The statement read: “As a responsible public institution and regulator, we have triggered our 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. We have also directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to do same.

“The welfare and safety of our staff and their families, and indeed all Nigerians, remain top priority to us. 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.”

Recall that the CBN yesterday disclosed the guidelines that must be followed by individuals and companies to access the N50 billion targeted credit facility it earlier unveiled for households and Small and Medium Enterprises that are badly hit by COVID-19.

According to the apex bank, those that can benefit from the fund are households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19; existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of business activities adversely affected as a result of the pandemic and enterprises with bankable plans to take advantage of opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A release from the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), indicates that as at midnight of Wednesday, March 25, Nigeria had 51 confirmed cases, with 2 discharged and 1 dead.

Lagos now has 32 cases; the FCT has 10; Ogun State has 3 Covid-19 cases; Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Bauchi, Osun and Rivers States each have one confirmed case.

According to the NCDC, “All new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving care.”