• INEC’ll decide on resumption date May 7
The Federal Government has directed officers on Grade Level 14 and above as well as those on essential services to resume work with effect from Monday, May 4. The civil servants are to work three times a week, namely Monday, Wednesday and Friday and close at 2p.m on each day.
Already, the Federal Secretariat Complex has been decontaminated in preparation for the partial resumption of work, while efforts were being made to decontaminate other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, gave the directive in a statement signed by Mrs. Olawunmi Ogunmosunle, Director of Information, Office of the HOCSF.
The directive, according to Yemi-Esan, is furtherance to President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast on a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown measures occasioned by COVID-19. “The concerned officers are to ensure full compliance with the directives and advice on the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These measures include maintenance of social distancing, regular washing and/or sanitising of hands and wearing of face masks. “Officers are to limit the number of visitors they receive to the barest minimum, they should also ensure that the visitors comply with safety and health advices/ directives,” Yemi- Esan said. HOCSF also advised Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers to ensure that hand washing and sanitation facilities are placed at entrances and strategic points in their Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). “Infrared thermometers are to be provided at the entrance of the MDAs for compulsory temperature checks while, as much as practicable, the entrance to the MDAs is limited to only one.
“It will be noted that the Federal Secretariat Complexes have been decontaminated while efforts are ongoing to do same in other public offices,” she said. Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will decide on resumption of normal activities next week following the Federal Government’s planned gradual easing off of COVID-19 lockdown from next Monday. The commission had closed its secretariats nationwide from members of the public on March 23 due to increase cases of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in a statement yesterday after the meeting of INEC management, that the commission noted the advi-sory and protocols outlined by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on combating COVID-19.
Okoye stated that INEC would review the situation in its offices across the country when it meets on May 7, and adopt a clear road map and guidelines for resumption of activities in line with the announcement by the PTF.
“The exact date for the step-by-step resumption of normal activities in the headquarters, state and local government offices will be communicated to staff, our stakeholders and the public after the commission’s meeting on Thursday 7 May 2020. “Staff earlier designated for the provision of essential services are to continue with their work,” said the National Commissioner. He advised election stakeholders to wait for further communication from the commission on resumption of normal activities.
“The commission understands and appreciates the Health personnel making use of COBAS system at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) National Reference Laboratory for COVID-19 testing. With this system, approximately 960 samples can be tested in 8 hours.
NAN need for timely resumption of activities in view of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states and the by-elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Plateau states and is doing everything possible to observe critical protocols that will make for the seamless and gradual restoration of normalcy,” he assured.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had, on Wednesday, stated that Federal Government establishments, banks, construction companies, manufacturing and others can commence operation from Monday, May, 4, after five-week lockdown.
The National Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Dr. Aliyu Sani, said that the resumption would be based on specific grade levels. He said construction, manufacturing and food processing companies would be allowed to open, while banks would operate from 8a.m. to 2p.m. daily – all observing the new restrictions put in place by the government.