Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari announced a 14-day shutdown of business, economic and social activities in Lagos State, Ogun State, and Abuja FCT. He made this pronouncement in a nationwide speech on Sunday evening.
The President said the restriction, which takes effect from Monday, March 30th at 11 pm, is expected to last for 14 days and will restrict the movement of non-essential services across the states. This, according to him and his health advisers will help curb the transmission of the coronavirus in the states, where it is prevalent.
The president also ordered all businesses to shut down their offices for this 14-day period except those on essential services. According to the president, the following businesses will, however, be exempted from the 14-day stay indoors order.
This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in healthcare-related manufacturing and distribution. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;
a. food processing, distribution, and retail companies;
b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,
c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
d. private security companies are also exempted.
Though these businesses have been exempted he also made an important caveat.
“Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.”
What this means: Whilst these industries have been declared as essential services, there will also be restrictions and their movement will be monitored. As such, only staff of these businesses on essential services will be allowed to move around. Most of these businesses will still be shut down as they practice social distancing requirements.
Also exempted: Whilst telecommunication companies and media have not been exempted, the president also made an important caveat.
“Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.”
What this means: Staff of these companies will have to go an extra length to prove that they are actually on essential services. Unlike those expressly exempted, they may need an extra pass or proof that the job cannot be done remotely to avoid being stopped by law enforcement authorities.
Businesses exempted from 14-day Coronovirus shut down of Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun State.
- hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in healthcare-related manufacturing and distribution.
- food processing, distribution, and retail companies;
- petroleum distribution and retail entities,
- power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
- private security companies are also exempted.
- telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print, and electronic media