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President Buhari Addresses Nigerians a Second Time, Extends Lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun for 2 Weeks

"You Are Our Heroes," Buhari Tells Healthcare Workers

President Buhari Addresses Nigerians a Second Time, Extends Lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun for 2 Weeks

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President Buhari Addresses Nigerians a Second Time, Extends Lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun for 2 Weeks

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari

As death toll from COVID-19 continues to increase in Nigeria, President Muhammadu has announced another two weeks of total lockdown in the country’s capital and commercial cities, Lagos and Abuja as well as in Ogun State.

Nigeria has recorded 323 cases of Coronavirus, with 10 deaths since it first confirmed a positive case in 27 February this year.

Lagos and Abuja account for over 72% of the cases.

On 30th March, 2020 President Buhari announced the first two weeks of lockdown in three states of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun.

He said the decision to extend the lockdown by another two weeks is to enable the country tackle the issue headlong.

According to President Buhari, “This is a difficult decision to take, but I am convinced that this is the right decision. The evidence is clear

“The repercussions of any premature end to the lockdown action are unimaginable.

“We must not lose the gains achieved thus far. We must not allow a rapid increase in community transmission. We must endure a little longer.”

He commended the efforts by the healthcare workers in the country, describing them as the heroes in the fight against COVID-19.

“At this point, I must recognise the incredible work being done by our healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

“You are our heroes and as a nation, we will forever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult time. More measures to motivate our health care workers are being introduced which we will announce in the coming weeks,” President Buhari said.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has announced measures being taken to stabilize the economy of the the world’s most populous black nation.

He directed “the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment and Education to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a “Nigerian economy functioning with COVID-19”.

“The Ministers will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and Economic Sustainability Committee in executing this mandate.

“I am also directing the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimized.”

Also, President Buhari said palliatives would be provided to 3.6 million households across the country in the next two weeks.

He said, “In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.

“I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks. This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs. A technical committee is working on this and will submit a report to me by the end of this week.”

A. S. AGAMAH

A. S. Agamah is a journalist and has been practicing in Nigeria for about a decade. His interest cuts across politics, economics, health, sociocultural issues and community reporting.

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