President Muhammadu Buhari has announced relief for vulnerable Nigerians and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States prepare to embark on a lock down.
Buhari, in his first national broadcast since the deadly coronavirus hit the nation, declared the immediate lockdown for 14 days.
He said, “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,” Buhari added.
The President stated that conditional cash payments and two months’ food supply would be given to vulnerable Nigerians and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), respectively.
Since the virus began to gain traction four weeks ago, some experts had called for a lockdown of Lagos and the nation’s capital. However, fears about the welfare of the most vulnerable in society loomed.
Addressing the welfare of IDPs and other vulnerable Nigerians, Buhari said, “for the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately.”
“We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.
“As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.
“Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks,” the President said.
HumAngle reports that the government is taking this step to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus which has already reached 97 cases in the country.
According to the NCDC, there are 59 and 16 cases recorded in Lagos and Abuja, respectively. Meanwhile, the government is still trying to trace 4, 370 potential contacts.
In his address, President Buhari reiterated that the government has released a sum of N15 billion to support the fight against the pandemic.