Bimbola Oyesola, Adewale Sanyaolu
President of the Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association (HAPSSSA), Adegbe William Iyeh, expressed disappointment that the Federal Government could extend the lockdown actions contrary to the expectation of the OPS and Labour.
“We expected that there should be an ease on the lockdown, especially on the major hotels who have put all the necessary measures in place as they had during the Ebola virus. At least some part of their services like accommodation could open,” he said.
He warned that the Federal Government action is going to affect the employers vigorously as the business would remain closed and have instructed their staff to continue to stay at home.
He said the effect on workers may be detrimental as employers who agreed to shoulder some payments and retain workers may be forced to take other devastating action.
Iyeh said Nigerians were already complying to all the COVID-19 safety guidelines, like wearing masks, washing hands and others, stressing that, that ought to have been emphasized than continued lockdown.
Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy, Economics and Law (CEEL), Prof. Adenikinju, agreed that the extension portends further pressure on the economy as Nigerians appeared to have reached their breaking point.
The Monetary Policy Committee member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the continued restriction of movement of persons, good and services will continue to batter the economy because majority of households in Nigeria were struggling at the moment and was capable of getting worse in the weeks to come.
But Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said easing of the lockdown should be progressive in nature.
LCCI Director General, Muda Yusuf, said this is because the COVID-19 phenomenon is not a short term thing.
According to him, it is something the world would have to live with over one or two years, hence the emphasis should be on more impactful responses.
“Imposition of curfew for instance has limited effect on social distancing. If anything it could even negate the objective of social distancing as citizens rush to compact their activities within the limited time allowed by the curfew.
“The peculiarites of the states needs to come into play in designing response strategies. States have varying degrees of COVID vulnerabilities. I expect each state to come up with containment models that suits its peculiarities. We should begin to look beyond curfews and lockdowns.”