COVID-19: Lalong slashes allowances of politicians

Posted by News Express | 25 March 2020 | 687 times

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• Plateau State Governor Lalong

By GYANG BERE, Jos

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has ordered the closure of all markets, street trading, hawking, and prohibited begging as parts of precautionary measures to halt the spread of coronavirus epidemic in the state.

Lalong had earlier banned anniversaries, cultural festivals and directed that all funerals, weddings and other social events should have only family members and relations not exceeding 50 people in attendance.

He had ordered the closure of all schools from pre-primary to tertiary level in the state from Saturday, 21st March 2020.

Lalong stated this on Tuesday during a state-wide broadcast to the citizens of Plateau State on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

He noted that recurrent expenditure other than salaries and pensions will be cut by 40 per cent; and all allowances of political office holders are hereby slashed by 50 percent.

“With effect from Wednesday 25th March 2020, all public servants in Plateau State from Grade levels 12 and below are to work from home for the next 30 days.

“Only workers offering essential services such as security, health, media, street cleaners and water supply and energy are exempted from this directive. In view of the crowds associated with markets, government is directing all markets to close effective 25th March 2020. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are to remain open.

“All street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited. The weekly Sunday markets at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs are hereby banned. Social joints, nightclubs, drinking parlours are to also close effective Wednesday 25th March 2020, while restaurants are advised to prepare take away for their customers to avoid crowding.”

He viewed with dismay non-compliance with the outright suspension of anniversaries and cultural festivals as well as inability of some schools to close as directed as an attempt to test the will of government and endanger public safety and risk the lives of innocent citizens.

The governor directed motor parks to capture and keep data including contacts of all inbound and outbound passengers as well as adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering prohibition order as well as hygiene regulations.

“Henceforth, all entry points into Plateau State by land and air will be subjected to preliminary tests. The weekly State Executive Council meetings are hereby suspended indefinitely. Council will continue to consult and meet through digital means.

“I have directed security agencies to begin enforcement and anyone found violating these orders should be arrested. Should the situation continue this way, we shall not hesitate to impose a complete lockdown in order to save the lives of our people.

“To ensure total compliance, government has set up a task force on enforcement and monitoring, which will be personally chaired by me to coordinate, evaluate and review developments on the disease in the state.” (The Sun)


Source: News Express

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