Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Partial lockdown: FCTA ask workers outside Abuja to stay off duty

As the federal government plans to gradually ease its lockdown order starting this week, the FCT administration said it will enforce rigorously the guidelines regulating the process in the territory.

In his message to the residents of the FCT announcing the new guidelines, the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said that security agencies have been mandated to arrest and prosecute, through the mobile courts, anyone found contravening the guidelines.

He said the FCTA will vigorously enforce the overnight curfew from 8:00pm to 6:00 am and in order to prevent possible patients of COVID-19 from coming into the Territory, will also enforce very strictly, the ban on interstate travel.

The statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, also advised residing the FCT to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted.

Part of the statement reads, “Effective Monday, 4th May 2020, all civil servants in the FCT on Grade level 14 and above  are to report for work 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 8am and 2pm. All officers on essential duties are to carry on with their assigned responsibilities. All workers are to maintain safe distancing protocols of at least 2 meters and wear face masks at all times.

“Temperature checks and hand sanitizing protocols should be strictly adhered to at all entry points and access to offices tightly controlled. Number of visitors and customers are to be limited to enforce social distancing guidelines.

“All workers who are not resident in the FCT are directed to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted.”

The minister also directed that the extant guidelines on market operations for sale of food items only remain in effect, while stressing that markets are to operate for two days in a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8:00am and 3:00pm.

In addition, he said neighbourhood selling points will be established in various parts of the city to decongest the major markets, while the wearing of face mask will be made mandatory to gain access to markets in addition to hand washing and sanitizing protocols.

Similarly, banks are directed to open between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00pm and are to observe temperature checks, hand sanitizing protocols as well as the use of face masks for staff and customers, as well as limit access by customers to allow for safe distancing reasons and limit the number of staff working on their premises to between 30% and 50%.

Bello also stressed that extant directive on places of worship still subsists and they remain closed, including clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theatres.

The administration also maintained that all guidelines on commercial transportation will be enforced very strictly, including the ban on interstate travel.

 

On school resumption, the Minister emphasised that all schools and academic institutions in the territory remain closed until further notice.

In his words he said "Schools are not permitted to commence third term operations in any form until directed otherwise by the relevant authorities.  Schools are however encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teachings."

Meanwhile, the chairman FCT ministerial enforcement task team, Comrade Ihkaro Attach, said his team is ready to carry out the order of the minister in curbing the spread of the virus.

Predicting tougher days ahead, Attah warned that the new regime does not mean those not approved to come to city centre would be allowed.

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