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Easing COVID-19 restrictions: FG reopens offices Monday

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Wednesday gave the green light for federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to resume work from Monday, May 4.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha, said this in Abuja at the 22nd joint national briefing of the committee.

He, however, said the category of workers that would resume work would be based on specific grade levels. Mustapha added that the banking, construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as food processing companies, would be allowed to open from Monday.

He said banks would be allowed to open from 8 am to 2 pm daily while observing the new restrictions put in place by the government.

The SGF, however, said airline operations for commercial purposes remained suspended.

Boss Mustapha said they arrived at the decision to ease the lockdown following the national broadcast of Mr. President.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday announced adjustments to the measures taken as part of the efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Part of the new measures include gradual easing of the restriction on movement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states from May 4, and the imposition of night curfew across the country among others.

According to Mustapha, “In line with Mr. President’s directive in paragraphs 38-41 of his broadcast, the PTF has developed sector-specific guidelines. The gradual reopening of the economy will span a total of 6 weeks broken into 3 tranches of 2 weeks each.

"This phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions while strengthening our public health response, which would ultimately reduce the recovery of our economy and provide succour to the poor and vulnerable.

“To underscore the collaborative efforts with sub-national levels of government (states), they are encouraged to provide leadership in engaging relevant associations responsible for various sectors, e.g market associations and transport unions for orderly and effective implementation.

“Similarly, I want to emphasise the need for the security agencies to strictly enforce these new measures that have been put in place.

“Following the pronouncement of the President, it has become necessary to provide initial clarifications for Nigerians on some of the new measures such as the overnight curfew, inter-state travels and related matters. Specific details will be provided shortly by the national coordinator. “

For the avoidance of doubt, the following clarifications, are provided: The overnight curfew is applicable nationwide from 8.00pm to 06.00am daily, effective Monday, 4th of May, 2020; inter-state travels are banned except for the movement of goods, agro-products, petroleum products, essential services, etc such as directed by Mr. President,” he said.

Source- Daily Trust


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