Amidst the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and the rise in local cases of the virus, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has activated a 30-day remote working plan after closing its trading floors temporarily.
NSE CEO Oscar Onyema, while issuing the directive, noted that the Exchange had activated precautionary health measures across its offices over three weeks ago, adding that with the significant growth in new cases of the virus, the NSE must act in the best interest of all stakeholders.
“From the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and the announcement of the index case in Nigeria on February 25, 2020, to the current status of 36 confirmed cases, 2 discharged cases and one death, we have kept abreast of events, sustained trading activities and prioritised the health and wellbeing of the people in our ecosystem,” he said.
“Further to this and with the significant growth in new cases, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, we have activated a 30-day remote working plan for our employees excluding essential staff. In order to give our dealing members enough notice, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all our trading floors will be temporarily closed, although remote trading will continue and NSE staff will be available through all our digital platforms to provide support.”
The Exchange thereafter reassured the investing community that it would ensure its operations and trading activities continue seamlessly throughout this period and encouraged dealing members to continue to trade remotely via its electronic platforms such as FIX protocol and XNET and reach out to their Compliance Officer if any support is required.
“While this pandemic has thrust on us an unanticipated human and economic crisis with businesses and capital markets significantly impacted, we continue to operate during our normal trading days and hours pursuant to the activation of business continuity plans that affirm the resilience of our market.
“We take seriously our role of providing an efficient market that allows investors access to liquidity even in the most trying of times,” Onyema said.