Fayemi Relaxes Lockdown, Asks civil servants to Resume in Ekiti
With effect from Monday, residents of Ekiti State now have opportunities to pursue their businesses Monday through Friday from 6am to 8pm.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this in a statewide broadcast Sunday evening, also revealed that consultations were underway to reopen worship centres, schools and big markets in the state.
Also with effect from Monday, public officers on Grade Level 8 and above are to resume for duty while those on Grade Level 7 and below are to remain at home till further notice.
The Governor also stressed that the dusk-to-dawn curfew will resume daily at 8pm and will last till 5.59 am of the following morning.
The Governor also announced that the state’s molecular laboratory will be commissioned on Monday to facilitate testing for covid-19.
Fayemi urged residents to give maximum support to the medical experts conducting the tests as modalities have been devised to ensure a seamless exercise.
He said: “I therefore urge you to willingly submit yourselves for testing when the officials get to your neighborhood.
“This also provides an opportunity for those who might have had symptoms associated with COVID-19 to freely come out for testing at no cost to them.”
The Governor in the broadcast also reiterated his earlier order that all Ekiti boundaries will remain on complete lockdown daily pending further review at national level.
Speaking on likelihood of resumption of public worship, Fayemi promised that religious centres will reopen “very soon” revealing that a committee will be engaging with religious organisations to fashion out a workable protocol.
The workable protocol, he said, will enable religious houses to reopen very soon without jeopardising the lives and health of worshippers.
On the fate of schools in Ekiti, the Governor explained that efforts to reopen them were also ongoing “as the committee set up to appraise the protocols, resources, conditions and modalities for reopening has concluded its work.”
The Governor also said government is considering reopening major markets to permanent shop owners, after the outcome of the engagement process that is ongoing on the relocation of roadside traders to available alternatives.
The reopening of the major markets, the Governor said further, will be subject to compliance with specific conditions and protocols that are being determined.
On when the state will be totally opened up its economy, Fayemi said: “Once the report of the random testing shows that we are safe generally, it would further give fillip to our confidence to fully open up our state and return to our normal way of life.”
He expressed delight that appreciable progress has been made in the fight against COVID-19 since the second wave of lockdown a month ago, partly in consonance with national strategy to ban interstate movement, which makes review of existing regulations necessary.
Fayemi disclosed that Ekiti has so far recorded 20 cases in all with 16 of the patients successfully treated and discharged with only two active cases left at the State Isolation Centre while two cases were lost.
He added that about 300 contact tracing were done with over 200 persons tested so far in the state. The Governor expressed gratitude to front line medical personnel, task force team, security agents, the COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee and the general public.
He also appreciated the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote for its contribution donation and the Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu-led National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for its technical assistance.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.