Nigeria: Coronavirus - Buhari Signs Proclamation Order On New Restrictions

An empty road in Abuja during the COVID-19 lockdown of the Nigerian capital.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the Proclamation Order on the 'General Management of COVID-19' in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, the Federal Capital Territory and other states in Nigeria as contained in his latest national broadcast.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a statement Monday night, said this was in exercise of the powers conferred on Mr Buhari by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004 and all powers enabling him in that behalf.

Mr Buhari had approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States.

President Buhari in his third national address since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country said the easing of total lockdowns of the affected states will take effect from Saturday, May 2.

He said the measure was taken based on the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various federal government committees that have reviewed the socio-economic impact of the restrictions and the Nigeria Governors Forum.

"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," he noted.

President Buhari had declared a two-week lockdown of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun during his first address on the pandemic on March 29 to enable the country tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 12, the president addressed the nation again on the same issue and announced the extension of the lockdown by another two weeks.

New measures

The President in his Monday night highlighted new nationwide measures for easing the lockdowns as follows:

a. Selected businesses and offices can open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

b. There will be an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 a.m. 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 allow for 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 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.

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