PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun states effective from Monday, May, 4 at 9am.
President Buhari disclosed this on Monday evening during a nationwide broadcast on the cumulative lockdown order of Lagos and Ogun states as well as the FCT on COVID- 19 pandemic.
The president, however, stated that “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.”
This followed the expiration of the 14-day lockdown the president imposed on the two states and Abuja to contain the spread of the pandemic.
According to him, the new nationwide measures would include allowing selected businesses and offices to open from 9am to 6pm, adding that there will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am.
“This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except essential services,” he said.
Buhari further stated that there would be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice, just as he noted that there will be partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services.
The president emphasised that the government would strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.
“Furthermore, the restrictions of on social and religious gathers shall remain in place. State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.”
He reiterated that the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states would remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday, May 4 at 9am.
The Presidential Task Force, according to him shall provide sector specific details and timing guidelines to allow for preparations by governments, businesses and institutions.
While noting that those were guidelines, he added that state Governors may choose to amend, adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued on public health and hygiene.
He however maintained that these revised guidelines would not apply for to Kano State.
“The total lockdown recently announced by the State Government shall remain enforced for the full duration. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic,” he said.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum had asked President Buhari to make the wearing of facemasks compulsory for all Nigerians in the public as the country continues to fight the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a letter written and signed by Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Oyo State, the governors also demanded that the president considers inter-state lockdown that excludes movement of essential supplies such as food, beverages, medical and phamarceuticals, petroleum supplies and agricultural produce.
Part of their demands included internal free movement with restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies, overnight curfews and lockdown of flights.