President Buhari in his adress to Nigerians on the deadly coronavirus pandemic has announced the total shutdown of Lagos state, Abuja and Ogun state for the next two weeks.
Buhari made this known on Sunday 29th March 2020. Read the full speech below…
ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020
1. Fellow Nigerians,
2. From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was
turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency,
the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative
measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.
3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to
confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.
4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th
February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise
5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed
cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.
6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former
employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are
with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery
for those infected and undergoing treatment.
7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the
world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.
8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work
towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical
authorities within the shortest possible time.
9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting
infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social
10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight
this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap,
disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or
elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health
facilities, we can contain this virus.
11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government
has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses
adopted by other countries.
12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for
Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the
World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response
approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf
of all Nigerians.
13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing
numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact
of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work
the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task
14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our
implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.
15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.
16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and
residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and
business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time
in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.
17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border
security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do
so as the situation unfolds.
18. Some of these measures will surely cause major
inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be
willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.
19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such
thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right
reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.
20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely
on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health,
NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.
21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their
guidelines as they are released from time to time.
22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority
of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and
drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the
best way we can.
23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of
fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to
contain and control the spread.
24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to
develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily
basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best
practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.
25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support
and manpower to respond immediately.
26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds
of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing
27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum,
for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by
the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the
virus in case it spreads to other states.
28. This training will also include medical representatives
from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.
29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and
professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All
inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be
30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had
ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the
confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.
31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify
cases and people these patients have been in contact with.
32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are
linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.
33. We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and
intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.
34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health
and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the
FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th
March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close
proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.
35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes.
Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices
within these locations should be fully closed during this period.
36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the
Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and
intelligence agencies have also been brief establishment o care relat exempted,
access will be restricted and monitored.