Regulators Response To Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) Part 2 (Financial Services Sector)
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect people’s health, businesses and the global economy. Since the declaration of the outbreak in Nigeria, the Federal Government has announced several economic and regulatory measures to curtail the outbreak and more importantly the effect of the outbreak on the economy.
The most recent directive of the Federal Government was the extension of the lockdown on 2 states (Lagos and Ogun State) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by another 14 days. Most State Governments have followed suit by announcing or extending the lockdown within their territories. The lockdown of the FCT, being the capital of the country and the host to numerous regulatory authorities has resulted in the temporary shutdown of activities within most Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (‘MDAs’). Nevertheless, some MDAs which provide ‘essential services’ were exempted from the lockdown and are carrying out skeletal services to ensure business continuity and economic stability in the country.
In our previous edition, we shared insights on some MDAs’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition is an update on developments within the Financial Services sector. We examined relevant regulators’ business continuity plan and new regulatory requirements applicable across the Financial Services sector in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
In a newsletter dated the 16th March 2020 and the address of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele (CON) published on the 15th March 2020 and titled “Turning the COVID-19 Tragedy into an Opportunity for a New Nigeria” the CBN expressed its policy measures to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as policy response timelines to guide crises management, in view of the unprecedented disruptions in the global supply chains, sharp reduction in crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial market and so on.