Nigeria urges banks to offer services to ease COVID-19 sufferings

* There’s exemption for banks to provide skeletal services ─PTF 

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
In view of the obvious inconveniences which the outbreak of Coronavirus infections, subsequent lockdowns and attendant disruptions to normal socio-economic activities have caused the Nigerian populace, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has appealed to banks to continue to give skeletal services to consumers of financial products and services in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports that Dr. Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator of PTF, made the appeal during the daily media briefing of the Task Force on COVID-19 Tuesday, April 14, in Abuja, FCT.

Aliyu likewise appealed to Muslims across the country to continue in honouring the necessary preventive measures against Coronavirus disease as Ramadan fasting commenced.

The PTF National Coordinator clarified that the Federal Government’s rationale for the extension of the lockdown, announced by President Muhammadu Buhari Monday, April 13 is to help Nigeria to avoid further spread of the deadly virus in Nigeria.

As regards Nigerians’ complaints about closure of banks to consumers, he reiterated that there is an exemption for banks to provide skeletal services.

Aliyu, therefore, appealed to the Nigerian banks to address the concern the concern of consumers of financial products and services in this regard.

“When we implemented the cessation of movement policy two weeks ago, we did make an exemption for banks to be allowed to engage in skeletal services, and following that, the financial authorities released additional guidelines to the banks.

“We are appealing to the banks please continue to provide financial services, especially the availability of cash at the ATM and skeletal services within the banking halls.

“What is important for us is for banks to comply with our advice in terms of reducing mass gatherings, having hands disinfectants at the entrance point, monitoring of temperature and making sure that they observe the physical distancing measures that we have advised,” he said.

He stated that that the conditional exemptions earlier issued still subsists, even as he observed that the protocol on lockdown earlier issued also remains intact.

Aliyu added: “The main purpose is to enable us interrupt transmission and to reduce social interaction, to make sure that those contacts or cases that we have, we are able to reach them and able to isolate them on time.

“I will be really grateful if the public can continue to adhere strictly to this additional extension of 14 days in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States.”

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