FG approves reopening of schools and interstate travels
The Federal Government has approved what it called “safe reopening” of schools nationwide in the next phase of the gradual easing of lockdown ordered to curtail further spread of COVID-19.
However, only graduating students will resume.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the ongoing daily briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday.
He said the reopening of schools was meant to allow students in graduating classes resume preparation for examinations.
He disclosed that the latest developments were contained in the task force’s fifth interim report which was submitted to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), earlier in the day.
Mustapha said, “I am pleased to inform you that Mr President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase II of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020 through Midnight of Monday, 27 July, 2020.
Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect: “Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the National Coordinator; “Permission of movement across state borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July, 2020; “Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places; “Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations; “Safe reopening of domestic aviation services as soon as practicable; “Publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry and labour; and community activities; “Provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response.”
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.