Lockdown easing: Nigeria extends second phase by four weeks

Nigeria extends second phase of eased lockdown by four weeks

Nigeria has extended second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown imposed on the country due to the outbreak of coronavirus, by four weeks.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated this during the presidential task force briefing on  Monday, 29th June 2020.

Nigeria imposed its first round of lockdown in late March. President Buhari on April 27 announced the gradual easing of the five-week lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun state.

The lockdown was eased to a nationwide night curfew (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from May 4th to May 17th. The curfew was later amended by many state governments to commence from 10:00 p.m.

The first phase of the relaxed lockdown was extended by two weeks and elapsed midnight 1st June. The second phase commenced on 2nd June and elapsed by midnight 29th June.

Mr Mustapha, while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, on Monday, said the extension of the second phase was approved by President Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Mr President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020, through Midnight of Monday, 27 July, 2020,” Mustapha says.

Mr Mustapha who is also the head of the PTF said the extension of the second phase is necessary to consolidate the gains in the areas of the economy.

He said this will also ensure better compliance with the health-based response.

He said the extension will also “support the states in enforcing guidelines and protocols as well as strengthening the LGAs build community-level structures for ownership and effective risk communication; and “help to better achieve the balance between saving lives and ensuring that wellbeing and livelihood of citizens are protected.