By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
The much-awaited resumption of work on Monday may witness poor attendance in Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed federal workers residing outside Abuja not to come to work.
The Minister in charge of the Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, said this a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Anthony Ogunleye, on Saturday.
Such workers who constitute majority of federal workers were directed to remain in their respective states of residence pending the total lifting of ban on interstate travel.
It would be recalled that most federal workers in Abuja reside in neighbouring Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi states with even some residing in Kaduna state.
The Minister said that the FCTA would enforce rigorously the guidelines regulating the easing of the lockdown in the FCT as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.
Security agents, he added have been mandated to arrest and prosecute, through mobile courts, anyone found contravening the guidelines which include the overnight curfew from 8p.m. to 6a.m. in order to prevent possible patients of COVID-19 from coming into the Territory.
The minister said effective Monday, May 4, 2020, all civil servants in the FCT on Grade level 14 and above were to report for work three time in a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 8a.m. and 2p.m.
He, however, said that all officers on essential duties were to carry on with their assigned responsibilities. He enjoined all workers to maintain safe distancing protocols of at least two meters and wear facemasks at all times.
Bello said that temperature checks and hand sanitising protocols would be strictly adhered to at all entry points and access to offices tightly controlled.
He explained that markets were to operate for two days in a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8a.m. and 3p.m. Bello assured that neighbourhood selling points would be established in various parts of the city to decongest major markets.
Below are details of the guidelines as issued by the FCT Administration:
Based on HE President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Address, the sector specific guidelines issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service of the Federation as well as the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on the phased easing of the lockdown, the following guidelines are hereby issued in the first instance, from 4th -17th May 2020:
A. OVERNIGHT CURFEW
An overnight curfew will be applicable in the FCT from 8:00pm till 6:00 am.
B. PARTIAL RESUMPTION OF CIVIL SERVANTS
I. Effective Monday, 4th May 2020, all civil servants in the FCT on Grade level 14 and above are to report for work 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 8am and 2pm.
II. All officers on essential duties are to carry on with their assigned responsibilities.
III. All workers are to maintain safe distancing protocols of at least 2 meters and wear face masks at all times.
IV. Temperature checks and hand sanitizing protocols should be strictly adhered to at all entry points and access to offices tightly controlled.
V. Number of visitors and customers are to be limited to enforce social distancing guidelines
VI. All workers who are not resident in the FCT are directed to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted
C. MARKETS AND BUSINESSES
i. Extant guidelines on market operations for sale of food items only remain in effect. Markets are to operate for two days in a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8:00am and 3:00pm
ii. Neighbourhood selling points will be established in various parts of the city to decongest the major markets
iii. Wearing of face mask is mandatory to gain access to markets in addition to hand washing and sanitizing protocols.
iv. The above hygiene related protocols are also applicable to supermarkets and neighborhood markets.
v. Banks are to open between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00pm and are to observe temperature checks, hand sanitizing protocols as well as the use of face masks for staff and customers
vi. Banks are to limit access by customers to allow for safe distancing reasons and limit the number of staff working on their premises to between 30% and 50%.
vii. Residents are encouraged to patronize online banking services as much as possible
viii. Extant rules regulating restaurants and eateries remain in effect. Restaurants are not open to the public and are encouraged to adopt home delivery services. Similarly, eatries are to practice the take-away system and are to maintain all hand sanitizing, face covering and safe distancing protocols
ix. Pharmacies may remain open overnight and are to observe all other protocols as enunciated above.
x. Companies involved in food processing, drug manufacturing and construction can commence operation, subject to following the approved health and safety guidelines
xi. Operators of these facilities are mandated to refuse access to anyone not observing the hygiene protocols.
D. PLACES OF WORSHIP
i. The extant directive on places of worship still subsists and they remain closed.
E. RECREATIONAL AREAS/FACILITIES/EVENTS
i. All clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theatres etc in the FCT remain closed.
ii. Ban on social congregations such as parties, weddings etc remain in force
F. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
i. Prohibition of commercial motorcycles within the FCC remain in force including Kubwa and Dutse Alhaji
ii. Tricycles are to limit their activities to areas already designated and are allowed a maximum of 3 persons (driver and two passengers)
iii. Taxis are mandated to carry a maximum of 4 persons at a time (driver and 3 persons)
iv. Buses are to reduce occupancy at any time to 50% of installed capacity
v. All bus stops and motor parks are to maintain environmental hygiene and officials of the parks and bus and taxi operators should provide temperature checks and hand sanitizing points at the parks and bus stops. Face covering is also mandatory. They are to operate only between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm daily.
vi. The FCTA will enforce very strictly, the ban on interstate travel. Vehicles conveying goods such as agro products, petroleum products, medical supplies, relief and construction materials as well as courier and security services would be allowed entry subject to the permitted designation in the FCT.
G. SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
I. All schools in the FCT remain closed until further notice. Schools are not permitted to commence third term operations in any form until directed otherwise by the relevant authorities.
2. Schools are however encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teachings.
The security agencies have been mandated to arrest and prosecute anyone found to be contravening any of these guidelines through the mobile courts.
The Honourable Minister reminded residents that COVID-19 is a very serious ailment that can be fatal and there was the need for residents to follow all laid down health protocols.
He also thanked public spirited individuals, associations and corporate organisations who made very generous donations for the provision of palliatives to those most in need in the Territory.
Malam Bello also thanked volunteers who devoted their time and resources in fighting the pandemic especially the journalists who made appearances on the various radio and television stations to educate residents of the FCT on their personal and collective responsibilities in the fight against COVID-19.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY