Markets in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, will now open everyday, an official has said.
The markets were initially allowed to open three days a week as Abuja and the rest of the world battled to check the spread of COVID-19.
Although hundreds of Nigerians including residents of Abuja still contract the virus daily, the management said there was a need to fully reopen the markets.
The Abuja minister, Muhammad Bello, said the extension was to decongest the markets.
Read the full statement by Mr Bello’s spokesperson, announcing the decision, below.
FCT MARKET OPERATIONAL DAYS EXTENDED FROM THREE TO SEVEN DAYS
1. The Honourable Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello chaired a virtual meeting between members of the FCT COVID-19 Response Team, senior members of the Administration and members of the Coalition of FCT Market Chairmen and Secretaries led by its Chairman Mr Raphael Okorie.
2. The meeting deliberated on the request by the Coalition of FCT Market Chairmen and Secretaries for the operational days of FCT markets to be extended to all 7 days of the week as against the 3 days weekly that is currently in effect.
3. Consequent upon this meeting, the following resolutions were reached:
i. As part of measures to decongest the markets in the FCT and further check the spread of COVID-19, market operations have been extended from three days a week to all 7 days in the week from 7:00am to 6:00pm effective from Thursday, 30th July 2020.
ii. The Abuja Market Management Limited and various market associations will continue to carry out sensitization activities to enlighten market users on COVID-19 and the necessity of obeying all extant health and safety protocols.
iii. Access to the markets and operations within the markets will only be permitted with the wearing of facial coverings and adherence to all extant health and safety guidelines inclusive of hand washing and maintenance of physical distancing.
4. However, failure by the Coalition of FCT Market Chairmen and Secretaries to fully implement these guidelines, the FCTA will be compelled to withdraw this extension.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello's Roadmap to Hope 2023