Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, Boss Mustapha, has said President Muhammadu Buhari will decide on the two weeks national lockdown proposed by the governors.
Governors of the 36 States of the Federation had on Wednesday had “unanimously” agreed to the implementation of an interstate lockdown over the next two weeks to help check the spread of COVID-19 across state lines.
According to the SGF, every input including that of the governors would be collated by the committee and a report will be written and submitted to the President.
“Basically, what they are suggesting is that travel from one state to the other should be stopped with certain exemptions of essential services, petroleum products, farm inputs, fertilizer so that we can keep the wheel of our economy ready,” Mustapha remarked.
“Like I said, that is their proposal, the federal government is yet to make a decision and, as to whether that will be part of our report, the presidential task force will meet and take a holistic look at all the proposals that are coming in as to the next line of action going forward.
“This will not be taken in isolation; and so I want to assure you that we are working in synergy and collaboratively with the state governments and subnational entities that, with this phase going into the third phase, it will be more collaborative than we would have taken into consideration the inputs and interests of different segments of our society.”
Also speaking on the issue, National Coordinator Dr Sani Aliyu said: “PTF continues to engage very closely with the state governments. We are particularly pleased to note the decision by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to restrict interstate travel. This is really important when it comes to reducing the risks of interstate spread and transmission of the virus.”