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COVID-19: CSCS activates Business Continuity Plan, goes fully digital

COVID-19: CSCS activates Business Continuity Plan, goes fully digital

As a critical financial market infrastructure (FMI), the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc has reiterated its commitment to continued delivery of efficient service through the challenging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as it activates its business continuity plan and goes fully digital. According to the messaging to all its participants and partners, exchanges, brokerage firms, custodians and registrars, CSCS is leveraging its digital channels to meet all requests at this period, as it joins global institutions in the campaign for social distancing.

Notably, the X-alert, an SMS sent by CSCS on all transactions carried out on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is also being used to educate investors on the need for social distancing and safety precautions against the coronavirus (COVID-19), with hashtags such as #StaySafe, #WashHandsAlways, #SocialDistancing and #WeAreDigital. Whilst it is campaigning social distancing by suspending services to walk-in clients, who are enjoined to use the digital channels, including customer contact centre lines (070 CALL CSCS – 070022552727 or 01 448 0500), chat platforms, web portals, social media, Mobile Apps and Data Exchange platforms amongst others, CSCS’ client service and broader support to the efficient functioning of the capital market, remains strong and active as always.

Speaking on COVID-19, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, the Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc hinted that “as the Financial Market Infrastructure for the Nigerian Capital Market, we are fully committed to efficient delivery on all our services, as we work with all stakeholders to reinforce the resilience and liquidity of the Nigerian capital market, even at this globally challenging period. Having activated our business continuity plan, which has long been envisaged as a part of our crisis management framework, we are fully operational, even as a notable percentage of our staff have been empowered to work remotely from home. More importantly is our campaign on social distancing, better hygiene practice and other precautions against the contagious spread of COVID-19, as the safety of everyone is paramount to us, just as we have activated all relevant measures to ensure the safety of all depository assets”.

As a part of its strategy of dealing with the pandemic, CSCS has since suspended all business travels and temporarily physical meetings, including its internal sessions, thus leveraging digital technologies such as Zoom, Webex, audio conference calls amongst others. Staff are enjoined to remain alert to credible news and strictly follow all relevant directives and guidance from the State and Federal Governments as well as local and global health authorities such as the National Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and World Health Organization etc. Whilst any staff, who may have returned or come in contact with a returnee from any of the countries with more than 50 incidences in the past 14 days have been asked to self-isolate, staff are also enjoined to quickly contact relevant health authorities in the event that they observe any indicative symptoms.

While assuring its stakeholders of the availability of CSCS’ services running seamlessly, the Chief Executive Officer noted that CSCS had implemented earlier protocols including the daily internal sensitization on preventive tips to all staff along with situational updates on COVID-19 incident reports and management; increased hygiene measures through deep and more frequent cleaning of its offices, provision of sanitizing gels to staff and promotion of recommended personal hygiene practices.

“We thank you for your understanding as we all rise up to stem the spread of this virus and adapt to new challenges arising from the pandemic. Our focus is on helping you and ensuring continuity of our services as a financial market infrastructure. We are committed to our core values of SECURE and will continue to keep you updated as we jointly navigate these times. Please stay safe” Jalo-Waziri concluded in a communication sent to CSCS’ Participants.

About CSCS

The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) is a Public Limited Company, with a diversified shareholder base, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange, some of the largest banks in Nigeria, private equity firms, investment banks and other corporate and individual shareholders. With over two decades of operation, serving as the Central Securities Depository for the Nigerian capital market, CSCS has been pivotal to the growth and transformation of the capital market, including its audacious full dematerialization of share certificates and the shortening of settlement cycle in the capital market. CSCS serves as the central depository for equities, commercial papers, corporate bonds, sub-national bonds, certain sovereign bonds, equity-traded funds, real estate investment trusts, mutual funds and commodities. CSCS is licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The activities of CSCS are governed by the Investment and Securities Act 2007, the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004, and the SEC Rules. www.cscs.ng

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