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Nigeria President Buhari has extended the lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state by one week.

In his broadcast this evening, the President said the lockdown will be phased off gradually beginning from May 4th.

He recognised the economic impact of the lockdown and said no economy can afford a continued lockdown as they await a cure or vaccine for the viral disease. He also approved a total lockdown in Kano for two weeks.

In his words

”Fellow Nigerians, for the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under either Federal Government or State Government  lockdowns. As I mentioned earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing down the spread of COVID nineteen in Nigeria.

However, such lock downs have also come at a very heavy economic cost. Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihoods. Many businesses have also shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines or cures.

In my last address, I mentioned the 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 thishow to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practice while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances. 

We looked atassessed how our factories, markets, traders and transporters can continue to function while at the same time respecting adhering to the 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 with while still maintaining our aggressive response to the COVID nineteen 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 nineteen, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved for a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from  May4 2020 at 9am.

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.

The highlights of the new nationwide measures are as follows; 

a. Selected businesses and offices can open from 9am to 6pm;

b. There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements are will be prohibited during this period except essential services;

c. There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice; 

d. There will be Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed to allowfor the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers; and

e. We will 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. 

For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos & Ogun States shall subsist remain in place until these new ones come into effect on  Saturday, 2nd May 2020 at 9am.” he said

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