President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun States and Abuja but also announced a phased reopening in all three areas.
In a nationwide broadcast on Monday night, his third in four weeks, he also announced a two week lockdown in Kano State, which has recorded multiple suspicious deaths in the last few days.
The two-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja which was initially scheduled to end on Monday April 27 has now been extended to May 4.
The President said, “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 for a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020 at 9am.”
He said, “Today, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country.”
The President said the Lagos State government and the FCT with support from NCDC had established several sample collection centres in Lagos and the FCT.
He added that they were also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.
He said, “I have directed the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to make further plans and provisions for financial stimulus packages for small and medium scale enterprises. We recognise the critical role that they play in Nigeria’s economy.
“As we continue to streamline our response in the epicenters of Lagos and the FCT, I remain am concerned about the unfortunate developments in Kano in recent days. Although an in-depth investigation is still ongoing, we have decided to deploy additional Federal Government human, material and technical resources to strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts. We will commence implementation immediately.”
Still on Kano, he said, “In Kano, and indeed many of other states that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission.
“We assessed 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.”
He said, “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.”
The President said the phased easing of the lockdown would 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 follow:
• Selected businesses and offices can open from 9am to 6pm
• There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements are will be prohibited during this period except essential services
• There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice.
• 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.
The President added, “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.”