Nigeria: Coronavirus - Nigeria Will Reopen Its Economy in Phases - Sgf

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

The reopening of Nigeria's economy will be done in phases, the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/390550-coronavirus-nigeria-will-reopen-its-economy-in-phases-sgf.html">Secretary to the Government of the Federation</a> (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said.

The Nigerian economy has been shut for about four weeks as businesses were closed, airports shut, schools shut and lockdown imposed in many states of the federation, including the commercial capital, Lagos, and the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Mr Mustapha while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force on <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwi1muv8lo7pAhXUMMAKHcO-D40QFjAKegQIBRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcovid19.ncdc.gov.ng%2F&usg=AOvVaw1Vt-KeuuvAi4Z7M0frw3SU">COVID-19</a> briefing on Wednesday said the reopening process will span a total of six weeks broken into three tranches of two weeks each.

He said the phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions.

"In line with Mr President's directive in paragraphs 38-41 of his broadcast, the PTF has developed sector-specific guidelines. The gradual reopening of the economy will span a total of six weeks broken into three tranches of two weeks each.

"This phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions while strengthening our public health response," he said, adding that the process would "provide succour to the poor and vulnerable."

President Muhammadu Buhari had in his address on Monday said the lockdown imposed, a month ago, on FCT, Lagos and Ogun will be relaxed to night curfews (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from May 4, 2020.

He, however, said this will be "strictly followed with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors."

New measures

Mr Mustapha, who doubles as the Chairman of the Task Force, encouraged state governments to provide leadership in engaging relevant associations responsible for various sectors.

He also urged security agencies to strictly enforce the new measures that have been put in place by the federal government.

"To underscore the collaborative efforts with Sub-National levels of Government, they are encouraged to provide leadership in engaging relevant associations responsible for various sectors e.g market associations and transport unions for orderly and effective implementation.

"Similarly, I want to emphasise the need for the security agencies to strictly enforce these new measures that have been put in place," he said.

Mr Mustapha reiterated that the overnight curfew is applicable nationwide from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, effective from May 4, 2020.

The lockdown by the federal government and many state governments have been largely successful in checking the spread of COVID-19, President Buhari said on Monday.

Nigeria has recorded over 1,500 COVID-19 cases since its index case was recorded in February. At least 44 people have died from the disease in the country.

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