Nigeria: COVID-19 - Top Things President Buhari Said in His Special Broadcast

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announcing his government's responses to the Coronavirus crisis in a nationwide address.
29 March 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the total lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

He gave the order during a special presidential broadcast aired on Sunday evening.

Below are top 14 things the president said in his broadcast which lasted for 19 minutes:

President Buhari said that for now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected with the COVID-19 is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

READ: Covid-19: Why I moved to Lagos after testing positive - Abba Kyari

2. The president said the federal government "have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in the fight against the viral disease.

Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country

3. Buhari urged all Nigerians to strictly adhere to health advice from the ministry of health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time

4. He said the federal government has released an initial intervention fund of N15billion to support the national response to contain and control the spread of COVID-19.

5. He said that he has also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies

6. The President said that based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, he has ordered "the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm 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."

All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States

7. President Buhari said that his order exempted hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution; 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; Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff; all vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from all seaports in Lagos; and all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into the restricted locations from other parts of the country.

READ: Things we learned from Buhari's coronavirus speech

He however noted that although these people/establishments are exempted, they would be screened as access to Abuja, Lagos, Ogun will be restricted and monitored.

8. The president also said that all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports are to be redeployed by the Minister of Health to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.

9. President Buhari also suspended movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, saying special permits will be issued on individual or corporate needs basis.

10. The president promised to deploy relief materials to ease their pains of all residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos, Ogun and Abuja "whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures."

11. He has granted a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans beneficiaries as well as all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank with immediate effect.

12. The President also said he has directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately to beneficiaries while two months' food rations be given to Internally displaced persons in the country.

13. He also directed that "all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending," saying the Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

14. The President also lauded "all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the (COVID-19) response for their dedication and commitment."

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