President Muhammadu Buhari after four weeks the first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease was recorded in Nigeria finally address the nation.
In his speech, President Buhari stated that:
Federal Government provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15bn) to support the national response as Nigeria fight to contain and control the spread.
FG recruited hundreds of ad-hoc staff to man call centres and support tracing and testing efforts in Lagos and Abuja,
The few confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.
– Order cessation of movement –
Ordered the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.
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Containment period to be used to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. Federal Government will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.
– Excepted from containment order –
This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in healthcare-related manufacturing and distribution. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as; (a). food processing, distribution and retail companies; (b). petroleum distribution and retail entities, (c). power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and; (d). private security companies are also exempted.
Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.
All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.
Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.
– Provision of relief materials –
For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, Federal Government shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, although schools are closed, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development directed to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.
– FG funded loans –
I have directed that a three-month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.
I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank.
For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.
For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.
– Function of the Presidential Task Force –
We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.
The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.