Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), last week rendered the federal government verdict on the coronavirus lockdown.
Contrary to the expectation of many Nigerians, the verdict of the federal government is that Nigeria is not ready for full lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of majority. Any relaxation would only portend grave danger for our populace”, the SGF asserted.
The eased lockdown was therefore extended by two weeks which would expire on Monday, June 1, 2020. From the tone of the SGF statement, there are strong indications that the eased lockdown would further be extended beyond June 1.
Nigeria recorded its first coronavirus case on February 27, 2020 when an Italian engineer who flew into the country in a Turkish Airlines flight developed symptoms of the virus at Lafarge clinic in Ewekoro, Ogun state, and was referred to the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos where he tested positive to the virus.
Since that day the count on the virus infection has been on a steep climb with the last figure crossing the 7,000 mark. Government attempts to nip the spread of the virus in the bud at the index level failed catastrophically due to a number of reasons.
The federal government takes most of the blames for the spread of the virus in Nigeria. Experts believe that if the nation’s airspace and land borders were closed in time, the virus which was largely spread by those coming from abroad could have been checked.
It has also been argued that even the lockdown came rather late to contain the spread of the virus. Even when the lockdown came rather belatedly, it was generally observed in the breach by the populace. Articulated truck drivers persistently smuggled people across various states in defiance of the restriction on inter-state travel.