News April 28, 2020 at 02:00 pm

Three major states in Nigeria forced into a curfew as country battles COVID-19

Nii Ntreh April 28, 2020 at 02:00 pm

April 28, 2020 at 02:00 pm | News

President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. Photo Credit: OnlineNigeria.com

The fight against the novel coronavirus in Nigeria has taken a new phase with President Muhammadu Buhari declaring a nine-hour night to day curfew in affected states.

The combined population of more than 25 million people in the states of Ogun, Lagos and federal capital city Abuja will have to be at home between 8pm and 6am.

In the speech on Monday night, President Buhari pointed out that “No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines.”

The three states have been in lockdown since March 30 and according to Buhari, the curfew will predate a “phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT (federal capital territory), Lagos and Ogun states effective from Monday, May 4, 2020.”

Nigerians are still expected to wear facemasks and are barred from “non-essential” inter-state travel.

Buhari explained that the federal government and state authorities are working “hard on how to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practices while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.”

This comes as part of a recognition that “many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihood. Many businesses have shut down,” the president said.

He added that the federal government has “reviewed how our farmers can safely plant and harvest in this rainy season to ensure our food security is not compromised.”

Nigeria is one of the continent’s major countries that has in recent times outlined plans to ease restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Almost a fortnight ago, Ghana called off a 21-day lockdown while warning citizens that the fight was not over. On May 1, South Africa is expected to lift its own lockdown as well.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has found itself struggling to raise revenue domestically and has been hit on the international markets too where oil, the country’s biggest export, was selling for literally nothing a few days ago.

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