The federal government of Nigeria has directed government offices, banks and manufacturing companies to reopen on Monday.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, PTF, Boss Mustapha, and the Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, gave the directive at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, giving guidelines for the gradual reopening of the economy.
Banks will start operating as from Monday, but will only open from 8am to 2pm and must adhere to social distancing measures, they said.
Both men also said people in public places must use face masks.
However, they added that schools would remain closed and social parties are still forbidden.
According to the PTF members, buses would only be allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm and that drivers must maintain social distancing in terms of number of their passengers.
They further directed employers to provide face masks and thermometers besides maintaining social distancing in their premises.
Government offices and many business premises had been shut since March after Presiden Muhammadu Buhari announced a lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr. Mustapha warned that the reopening of the economy did not mean an end to COVID-19 pandemic.
He urged state governments and security agencies to ensure that the measures introduced by the Federal Government were strictly enforced.
Mustapha said, “In line with Mr. President’s directive in paragraphs 38-41 of his broadcast (on Monday), the PTF has developed sector specific guidelines. The gradual reopening of the economy will span a total of six weeks broken into three tranches of two weeks each.
“This phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions while strengthening our public health response, which would ultimately reduce the recovery of our economy and provide succour for the poor and vulnerable.”