Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday extended lockdown in the country’s capital city, Abuja, as well as Lagos and Ogun States to four weeks, from the two-weeks announced on March 29, 2020.
This followed the confirmation of new coronavirus cases in the country, including Northern States with previously zero cases.
However, a total lockdown of the region would come at a “very high cost,” officials fear.
“Most citizens are farmers who need to go to farm since the rains have started,” Governors of the region said Monday after a teleconference.
“So far, the lockdown in some States in the region has had varying levels of success, but restricting cross-border movements remains a challenge.
“Some cases recorded in some of the States,” the Northern Governors Forum Chairman, Simon Lalong said were imported.
Federal authorities have not sent any relief funds to States within the region, but States according to Lalong will adopt measures suitable to their peculiarities, to prevent a spread of the virus.
The Governors set up a seven-man Committee chaired by Governor of Kebbi State, Mr. Atiku Abubakar Bagudu “to holistically look at the economic prospects of the region with a view to repositioning it for less reliance on Federal Allocation.”
The committee will “prepare for the future by diversifying to areas of comparative advantage such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and human capital development,” says a statement by Mr. Lalong’s Press Director, Simon Macham.