COVID-19: OPS seeks exit strategy on current lockdown

COVID-19: OPS seeks exit strategy on current lockdown

By chisom

Abuja, April 22, 2020

Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called on the Federal Government to design an exit strategy on  the current nationwide lockdown before reopening the economy.

The group made the call in a statement signed by Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday in Abuja.

In a proposal sent to the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, the group said the current lockdown needed to be reviewed, saying that the strategy was not sustainable.

Kayode said that the group had submitted a proposal with a wide range of ideas on how to exit the lockdown.

While commending the Federal Government on the fight against COVID-19, he stressed the urgent need to commence an immediate exit plan on the current strategy.

“The mandate of the PTF committee should include designing smart and phased opening and relaxing of the lockdown from April 27 and the announcement of smart exit strategies as quickly as possible.

“We urge the Federal Government and the states to adopt a technology-driven COVID -19 tracking system.

“This will make tracking, tracing and identification easier. The technology is readily available and is already being used in Africa, India, South Korea and China among others.

“We urge the Nigeria Immigration Service to support Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and states’ committees in the effort to track persons who arrived in Nigeria from January to March, 2020 for testing and screening.’’

Kayode also appealed to the PTF and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to actively support massive production and free distribution of hand sanitisers and face masks for mandatory use in public and other designated places.

According to him, the authorities must lead by example in enforcing social distancing. This is very important as the perception is that government officials are not really serious about this regulation.

“Let us all please work to change this perception.

“We urge the acceleration of the determination of curative drugs by NAFDAC for treatment of the
virus. COVID-19 may end up being with us for a long time like malaria.

“So the earlier we approve a curative drug, the better,’’ he advised.

Kayode suggested that the Federal Government should engage the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to immediately review the casual way the distribution of palliatives and stimulus for the general populace were currently being handled.

“We suggest the adoption of household distribution through the polling units in all the wards in our LGAs. This must now be the basis for verifiable and transparent method for social distribution of welfare,” he added. 

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