Posted by News Express | 27 April 2020 | 3,603 times
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night, April 27, locked once more extended the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja but this time for a week rather than two weeks as he did from March 29.
Buhari in his nationwide address delivered minutes ago said the lockdown would be lifted in phases effective Monday, May 4, 2020 – with strict conditions to be enforced. Below is an excerpt of the speech:
“Fellow Nigerians, for the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under either Federal Government or State Government lockdown. As I mentioned earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in our country.
“However, such lockdowns have also come at a very heavy economic cost. Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihood. Many businesses have shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines.
“In my last address, I mentioned that Federal Government will develop strategies and policies that will protect lives while preserving livelihoods.
“In these two weeks, the Federal and State Governments have jointly and collaboratively worked hard on how to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practices while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.
“We assessed how our factories, markets, traders and transporters can continue to function while at the same time adhering to NCDC guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.
“We assessed how our children can continue to learn without compromising their health.
“We reviewed how our farmers can safely plant and harvest in this rainy season to ensure our food security is not compromised. Furthermore, we also discussed how to safely transport food items from rural production areas to industrial processing zones and ultimately, to the key consumption centers.
“Our goal was to develop implementable policies that will ensure our economy continues to function while still maintaining our aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These same difficult decisions are being faced by leaders around the world.
“Based on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun states effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020.
“However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors.
“Furthermore, new nationwide measures are to be introduced as follows;
“For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states shall remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday, 4th May 2020.
“The Presidential Task Force shall provide sector specific details to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and institutions.
“In respect to the above guidelines, State Governors may choose to adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above.
“To support our businesses and traders, the monetary and fiscal authorities shall deploy all the necessary provisions needed for production to continue and thus, jobs restored.
“These revised guidelines will not apply to Kano State.
“With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring states.
“I wish to once again commend the frontline workers across the country who, on a daily basis, risk everything to ensure we win this fight. For those who got infected in the line of duty, rest assured that Government will do all it takes to support you and your families during this exceedingly difficult period. I will also take this opportunity to assure you all that your safety, wellbeing and welfare remain paramount to our Government.
“I will also recognise the support we have received from our traditional rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and other prominent religious and community leaders. Your cooperation and support have significantly contributed to the successes we have recorded to date.
“I will urge you all to please continue to create awareness on the seriousness of the coronavirus among your worshippers and communities while appealing that they strictly comply with public health advisories.
“I also thank the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Presidential Task Force for all their hard work to date. Through this collaboration, I remain confident that success is achievable.
“I also wish to thank corporate organisations, philanthropists, the UN system, the European Union, friendly nations, the media and other partners that have taken up the responsibility of supporting our response.
“And finally, I will thank all Nigerians again for your patience and cooperation during this difficult and challenging period. I assure you that government shall continue to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and livelihoods of our citizens and residents.”
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