Nigerian stocks drop to 8-year low after Buhari enforces lockdown to fight coronavirus

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Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu (C), speaks to passengers to enforce social distancing in a bus as part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Lagos, Nigeria on March 26, 2020. - Nigeria's government on March 26, 2020 warned that Africa's most populous nation could soon see an exponential increase in COVID-19 coronavirus infections unless contacts of confirmed cases are tracked down quicker. The country of around 190 million people has so far recorded just 51 infections and 1 death, but testing has been limited. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Nigerian stocks fell to a new eight-year low on Monday after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a lockdown of two of the country’s biggest cities to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The all share index dropped 2.43% to 21,330 points, dragged down as shares in the banking sector and MTN Nigeria, its second-biggest listed firm, declined.

MTN Nigeria, the local unit of South African telecoms group MTN, shed 10% to its listing price of 90 naira.

Meanwhile Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has signed the COVID-19 Regulations 2020, declaring coronavirus a dangerous infectious disease.

In a statement on Monday night in Abuja, the Presidency said Buhari acted in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and “all other powers enabling him in that behalf”.

The statement, which was signed by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, added, “The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as restriction/cessation of movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, the exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in

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