The sweeping order came after some state governments had given a similar order.
In Lagos and Kano, Nigeria’s most populous states, schools will be shut from 23 March.
Governors in the north west region, including Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara also resolved to shut schools from Monday.
In Abuja, the Federal Capital, schools were ordered shut immediately. In Ondo, schools will be closed from Friday, 20 March.
The Federal Ministry of Education had earlier ordered the closure of all the 104 Unity Schools in the country from March 26 as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Corona virus.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono who gave the order on behalf of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said all the Principals of the Unity Colleges should fast track the on-going second term examinations and close shop until further notice.
The closure was announced in a statement by Mr Ben Goong Director, Press and Public Relations in Abuja, on Thursday.
The Minister said the management of all the Unity Colleges should immediately activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol based sanitizers and hand washing facilities among others.
He said that students should strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.
He also directed the principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasising that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.
“We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.
“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,” the statement by Goong read.