By his bow tie, you know him. And that distinguishing feature was firmly in place when Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), breezed into the Presidential Villa at Abuja on June 3, 2020. One of the hallmarks of seasoned, methodical people is patience, refusal to be rushed or stampeded. Since the alleged breach of ethics saga at the AfDB broke into the open, President Muhamadu Buhari had not said much, at least, not directly. He rather watched developments, got briefings, and weighed his options . Like the seasoned soldier that he was, an officer and gentleman, President Buhari kept his gunpowder dry. Till he fired on Tuesday. And the echo reverberated round Africa, if not the world. Impatient Nigerians, ever willing to excoriate, had been complaining that the President hadn’t waded directly into the AfDB matter, where one of his citizens was about to be given the shorter end of the stick, in an onslaught led by America, one of the key stakeholders of the bank. When the Ethics Committee investigated and exculpated Adesina, President Buhari hailed the development. When America asked for reinvestigation, leaning on Adesina to step down while the process lasted, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, and one of the Governors of AfDB, wrote a decisive letter, condemning and rejecting the decision. On whose behalf did she do that? On behalf of Nigeria, and its President. Yet the professional complainers said the President hadn’t spoken. Their usual refrain is ‘talk to us, talk to us, you must talk to us.’ And when he speaks, they pretend not to hear. When the fullness of time came, as President Buhari usually elects to do, he spoke personally. And loud and clear. The aviation sector in both Nigeria, and Abidjan where Adesina is based, were still under lock and key. What to do? President Buhari reached out to the Ivorien authorities for special landing permit, and despatched a presidential jet to fetch the AfDB president, an illustrious son of Nigeria, and a former Minister of Agriculture under the Goodluck Jonathan government. Adesina and his team of two close aides were seated in the diplomatic room of the Presidential Villa fifteen clear minutes before the scheduled time. This writer was also there, along with some Ministers and senior aides of President Buhari. On the dot of the hour (he rarely misses it), President Buhari strode in. Ramrod straight, a fact that belies his 77 years of age. He gave his guest an elbow shake from a distance, which caused us all to laugh. The President was being correct heath-wise, as demanded by the social distancing requirement of the COVID-19 pandemic. With initial greetings and courtesies concluded, Adesina was the first to talk. He thanked the President for facilitating his visit, and for the support he had always given him as AfDB boss, right from his first election in 2015. “Thanks for helping me to get elected, and for your unflinching support for me over the years. Thanks for your public statement in my support after the Ethics Committee of the Bank finished its work, and exonerated me of all 16 allegations against me, “ Adesina began. “I thank God who made me a Nigerian. I thank Him that I was born here, lived here, and want to die as a Nigerian. And on the day of resurrection, I will beg God to let me rise as a Nigerian.” General laughter. “Some lies have been concocted against me to render me ineligible for a second term as AfDB president. The bank has its rules, regulations and laws. And part of it is that any allegation must be substantiated with facts, evidence and documents. This is so that there can be believability, and nobody can act out of malice. “In all the 16 allegations against me, there were no facts, no evidence, no document. The Ethics Committee investigated for three months. They asked for evidence. The accusers could not bring any. My defense was in 250 pages. Not a line of it was questioned. “The laws of the bank say when the Ethics Committee has concluded investigations, the report must be transmitted to the Chairman of the Governors of the bank. It was so done, and I was exonerated of all the allegations. If I’d been found wanting, then another investigation could be launched. But since there was no charge, that should be the end of the matter, according to the rules. But the accusers want to bend the rules, asking for reinvestigation. They say they don’t trust the rules, regulations, the Governors, and the Board of the bank. Their motive is to soil me, and soil the bank. “They are leaning on other countries that hold shares in the bank to support reinvestigation, and that I should step aside for that process. It is against the laws, rules and regulations.” Adesina’s first term ends on August 31, this year. Election should have held by now, if not for the Coronavirus challenge. It would hold before the terminal date, and the African Union has endorsed the incumbent as the only candidate from the continent. Will the accusers muscle their way through, and get an interim administration installed ? Then President Buhari spoke. He went down memory lane, recalling the role he played as President-elect of Nigeria then, in an election that held on May 28, 2015, a day before his inauguration. “I personally wrote all African leaders, supporting your candidature. I recommended you, though you were a Minister of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and I was of the All Progressives Congress (APC). I didn’t because of that withhold support from you. I’ll remain consistent because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.” President Buhari pledged to work with all African leaders and stakeholders of the bank to mobilize support for Adesina’s re-election. He said the man had done well, and one good term deserves another. When people from the north of the country call President Buhari Mai Gaskiya (The Honest One), they know what they are saying. He doesn’t talk tongue-in-cheek. He says it as it is. If any fault had been found in Adesina, he would also have told him point blank that he wouldn’t get support from Nigeria. May God give us more men like the Mai Gaskiya, who don’t call white black, and vice-versa. In a private chat with Dr Adesina later, he told me something which I would never forget, and which I’ve filed away in my memory. He said it’s a Zambian proverb, which goes thus: “When you’re walking on water, your enemies say you are kicking dust.” Kicking dust while walking on water? Hahahahahaaaaaaa. Bad people will always remain who and what they are. Bad.
*Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari
Report gathered by Daily Watch Press, shows that China has required the three biggest state-held oil corporations to transfer the management of half of their liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to the newly created state-controlled midstream firm, Caixin Global reported, citing industry insiders.
The transfer of 10 LNG terminals owned by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinopec, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is the first step in China’s plan to consolidate the oil and gas pipeline infrastructure into a new giant state-held midstream company.
At the end of last year, China launched the long-mooted state oil and gas pipeline group combining the infrastructure assets of the state-owned energy majors into one huge midstream group, which analysts say could be worth between US$80 billion and US$105 billion.
The new company is part of China’s efforts to allow its energy companies to focus on boosting exploration and production. Combining China’s pipeline infrastructure into one firm and opening access to this infrastructure to foreign and private producers would help the state oil and gas firms to focus on exploration at a time when China aims to increase its domestic production.
Earlier this year, CNOOC said it had signed with the new state pipeline giant to transfer to it the management of oil and gas infrastructure projects.
The ten LNG terminals that are set to be transferred to the new company include seven terminals currently managed by CNOOC, two terminals managed by CNPC, and one by Sinopec, according to Caixin.
The new state pipeline giant, China Oil & Gas Piping, will initially only have the right to manage the assets, while the oil and gas majors will still own the assets until audits are finalized. After the transfer of the LNG terminals to the new company, there still will be 11 other LNG facilities that will continue to be managed by the three oil and gas majors, Caixin’s sources said.
Reports from OJB Sports confirmed that the RB Leipzig of Germany goal machine and very influential striker Timo Werner this season is on his way to the English Premier League.
The 24-year old has agreed a deal with the London club.
Chelsea has pulled a trick by agreeing a deal in principle with RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner. Liverpool looked like a destination for Werner after been heavily linked with the Reds, but he might be on his way to Chelsea if reports are anything to go by.
Werner who had previously expressed his interest in joining Liverpool, will possibly be a Blues player from next season after agreeing a five-year deal.
The former VFB Stuttgart forward has a release clause of £52m and Chelsea is expected to activate the contract before June 15 expiration date.
I fell from grace That’s a total disgrace I slowed my pace Because my sins were too great to run the race I forgot that there is a place Where saints and sinners are placed.
I fell from grace I could no longer behold his face I no longer feel his overwhelming peace I’m troubled as one lost in space I became too far away to see he still cares I’m even ashamed to pray in his name.
I fell from grace I went so close to the grave I was confused as one in a closed cave I wanted to gain the fame But ended up in pain and disdain Everything became sour I was slowly drowning.
BUT MERCY SAID NO
And he raised me up again He gave me a chance so that my glory I can regain In my mess he held me closer When others had called me a loser My world was recreated.
Grace spoke for me And to me a new name was given He wrapped his arms around me with love And like the prodigal I was welcomed with a feast.
He clothed me with honour He anointed my head with the oil of gladness He took the shackles of shame off me He restored my lost glory And granted me abundance of peace.
Daily Watch Press, will always like to feature your work to the rest of the world. Be free to make comments or criticisms of any work of art publish on this up coming blog.
A recent report shows that Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State is trying to fast track resettlement of IDPs back to their communities, and that took him to Marte Town. The report reads:
“In an effort to fast track the resettlement of IDPs to their communities, Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, on Monday, 1st June, 2020, returned to Marte Local Government Area.
Zulum had on 30th November, 2019, and 23 March, 2020, visited Marte where he made a case for the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs). In addition, Zulum also made efforts to explore how major irrigation farming activities of the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) could be restored by July, this year.”
“Zulum had, after a request to the Managing Director, Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) on his earlier visit, ordered rehabilitation of 500 housing estate belonging to the CBDA that when rebuilt, the houses will provide temporary shelters to displaced persons willing to return to New Marte, even though their communities in different parts of larger Marte Local Government Area, will also be rebuilt for their permanent occupation.
The rehabilitation has since commenced and now at 80% completion stage.”
The report when further that:
“We shall complete the rehabilitation of the 500 housing estate, we have to bring our people back before the end of July, depending on the security situation. We wanted to ensure resettlement of Ajiri, Banki, Soye, Kawuri, Marte, Gajibo, Wulgo and Logumani”, the Governor reiterated.
“Zulum led a delegation comprising of relevant Commissioners of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement and that of the ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The Governor had passed night in Ngala Local Government Area on Sunday after directly supervising the distribution of relief items to over 10,000 households in Kala Balge.
During the visits, Zulum presented 250 bags of 50 kg rice,10 bags of 50kg sugar, 200 cartons of noodles, 500 cartons of spaghetti, cooking oil and cash to the military taskforce brigade in Marte.” the report concluded.
Daily Watch Press, gathered that the Nigerian Army Had Some sets back in the ongoing war against insurgency in the North East, Nigeria, where the Acting Commanding Officer, 401 Special Forces Brigade Signals of the Nigeria Army, Major K Yakubu was killed.
He died on Tuesday after Boko Haram terrorists attacked his team and wounded one soldier in the process, in the theater of war in Borno State.
Report shows that the military commander was killed after decimating Boko Haram camp in Doron Naira, an island in Lake Chad, and Nigerian border area around the fishing town of Baga.
The report said, the troops advance was delayed as vehicles broke down which resulted in the burning of vehicle clutches and overheating of radiators. The troops also had to stop many times to fix burst tires due to extremely harsh weather and sandy nature of the terrain, amongst others.
The troops arrived at Doron Naira Village (N13° 11′ 34.94 E13° 36′ 52.61″wink on June 1 and cleared the partially deserted settlement. Items recovered included one x 120mm mortar base plate, one x Motorbike, one x BHT Flag, one Holy Qur’an, metal links for AA rounds and a roll of copper wire.
Huts, fire trenches and other home utensils found at the hideout were destroyed before the withdrawal of the troops. Two Boko Haram terrorists were killed in the shootout. Other items captured include one x AA gun, 2 x AK47 rifles and assorted AA rounds.
The troops were, however, attacked by the terrorists on Tuesday at about 1530hr at coordinate N13° 11′ 50.44″ E13° 36′ 51.44. Troops responded with overwhelming firepower, forcing the terrorists to withdraw.
Our source, said an advance team arrived Baga Wednesday.
“Casualty on troops/equipment are one Killed In Action (Maj K Yakubu – Acting CO 401SF Bn), One Wounded In Action soldier while one x COBRA APC, one x mini-workshop (Toyota Hilux) and one x ATEGO truck that could not be repaired or recovered was destroyed in the operation,”
But the troops are in good shape and are making some gains in that axis of the battlefield.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation
In view of the progress made with Nigeria’s COVID-19 pandemic, there is no longer a strong need for a generalised lockdown as was the case during the initial stages of the response. The Federal Government has decided that the next phase of the response (Phase 2) will involve a cautious but progressive easing of the lockdown across the Federation, with a stronger focus on high burdened local government areas (LGAs) within identified States of the Federation. As the State Governments start taking a greater role in developing restrictive guidelines at the LGA level, the Federal Government is approving the lifting of the current lockdown in Kano State while allowing a minimum set of safety conditions to apply nationwide to ensure that the gains made thus far are consolidated, so that the country is positioned to effectively overcome the pandemic going forward. Further to the pronouncement of the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha at the Daily PTF Press Briefing of Monday 1st June 2020, the following implementation guidelines on measures to control COVID-19 pandemic are hereby issued for:
General Information to the Public;
Guidance to States and Security Agencies; and
Description of the types of activities allowed under Phase 2 (2nd-29th June 2020) SECTION I: GENERAL INFORMATION ON NEW COVID-19 MEASURES
The next phase of the nation’s COVID-19 response will involve the lifting of the full lockdown in Kano while providing a nationwide set of minimum safety guidelines that States can build on to strengthen their local strategies on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 at the community level. The goal of phase 2 over the next 4 weeks is to balance public health with protecting livelihoods and allow the full restoration of economic activities across the country. In this regard, all public and private sector institutions must start putting in place the arrangements required for full compliance with containment measures and safety advisories as provided by the PTF.
Effective from Tuesday 2nd June 2020, the easing of the lockdown will be characterised by the following: • The mandatory use of non-medical face mask/covering for all persons while in public spaces. Latex hand gloves should not be worn except for specific medical purposes; • The mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitizers in all public spaces; • All interstate travel by individuals remain prohibited except for essential travels & the movement of goods and services. All restrictions on the free movement of goods and services within and between States is now removed; • The nationwide curfew remains in place, but the timing has been changed to 10pm to 4am. The purpose of the curfew is to limit social interactions and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Persons that are on essential duty, including but not limited to those involved in the provision of healthcare services, media services and critical infrastructure are exempted from the curfew; • Mass gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace is prohibited; • There will be controlled access to markets and locations of economic activities with local authorities providing guidance on opening times; • The financial sector shall be fully opened with banks operating normal working hours, five days a week; • The manufacturing industry shall fully resume activities with phased opening of the informal sector; • Mandatory temperature checks will be conducted in public spaces; • Physical distancing of 2 metres must be maintained between people in workplaces and other public spaces; places of worship, offices and commercial premises must create floor markings to guide physical spacing; • Gradual opening of air (domestic) and sea borders with safety advisories in place. International land borders shall remain closed; • Restricted opening of places of worship based on state government protocols and with strict guidelines on physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions; and • Mandatory supervised isolation of person(s) arriving from outside the country for at least 14 days will continue until a new protocol comes into place.
General Rules and Regulations • Anyone who presents with a temperature of above 380C will be mandated to return home and call NCDC for evaluation; • Anyone without a face mask/covering will be asked to return home and will be prosecuted; • Anyone violating the curfew in a non-emergency situation will be prosecuted; • Anyone attending a gathering of more than 20 people outside a workplace will be prosecuted; • Institutions that fail to comply with these protocols and guidelines will be prosecuted; and • Any member of the public who violates the ban on inter-State movement as outlined in this guideline will be prosecuted; • This extension will continue to be characterised by the creation of mobile courts for immediate prosecution of offenders.
SECTION II: PROTOCOLS FOR CONTAINMENT OF COVID-19 GENERAL MOVEMENT ASPECT RECOMMENDATION Curfew now to operate 10pm – 4am nationwide
General Movement ▪ May go out for work, to buy necessary foods and for exercise ▪ Movement between LGAs (except metropolitan areas) is strongly discouraged unless for critical reasons such as healthcare and work, especially as it applies to high burden LGAs ▪ Avoid unnecessary contact with people, preferably stay at home ▪ Hawking and street trading remains prohibited ▪ Mandatory use of face masks/coverings in public
Air Transport ▪ The Aviation industry to commence preparation for the resumption of domestic operations from TENTATIVE DATE OF 21st June 2020 ▪ Airlines to ensure physical distancing by reducing passenger capacity on flights ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers (such as face masks, gloves etc.) ▪ Carry out temperature checks at point of entry and departure ▪ Ensure cargo and logistics areas are clean and conduct strict compliance when moving items ▪ Carry out effective tracking of travellers to ensure contact tracing if necessary ▪ Only travellers and airport staff to be allowed into airport facilities
Inter-State Travel ▪ Movement across state borders is still banned ▪ Allow movement of all goods and services including but not limited to agricultural products; Petroleum products transport; Security Services;
Essential Personnel ▪ Allow essential travel, ensuring the following:
Provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers (such as face masks, gloves etc.)
Reduce to 50% of usual occupancy for buses and driver plus 3 passengers for Taxis
Non-medical face mask for drivers and staff
Temperature checks at point of entry and departure
Handwashing facilities at bus parks, along with physical distancing
Intra-State Travel ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers (such as face masks, gloves etc.) ▪ Reduce to 50% of usual occupancy for buses and driver plus 3 passengers for taxis ▪ Where possible, carry out temperature checks at point of entry and departure ▪ Provide handwashing facilities at bus parks, along with physical distancing ▪ Restrict movement in high burden LGAs to essential travel only
INDUSTRY & LABOUR ASPECT RECOMMENDATION Banks and other Financial Institutions ▪ Banks to operate normal working hours ▪ Maintain normal working hours based on curfew arrangements apart from government offices ▪ Offices to maintain working at 75% capacity, while ensuring 2m physical distancing ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers ▪ Limit number of customers to allow physical distancing ▪ Limit workers to 75% or less to allow physical distancing ▪ Banking operations should prioritise the elderly, people living with disabilities and customers who do not have access to internet services ▪ Mandatory use of non-medical face mask ▪ Encourage online banking and provide services online ▪ Temperature checks ▪ Ensure all ATMs are functional and cleaned daily
Government offices/ other corporate offices ▪ To work from 9am – 2pm from Monday -Friday ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers ▪ Use non-medical face mask ▪ Encourage work at home policy for civil/public servants below GL14. ▪ Temperature checks on arrival
Manufacturing Industries ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers ▪ Limit number of workers to allow physical distancing ▪ Use non-medical face mask ▪ Conduct temperature checks
Personalised Services ▪ Mechanics, artisans, haïr salons, etc. who own their workshop or workstations and can clearly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions are permitted to operate ▪ Ensure wearing of a face mask when selling goods or providing services ▪ Ensure provision of sanitisers and appropriate PPEs to all workers ▪ Limit number of workers and customers to allow physical distancing ▪ State and Local Government Authorities shall work with the Unions/Associations to monitor and ensure compliance
Supermarkets ▪ Ensure provision of sanitiser to all customers ▪ Limit number of customers to allow physical distancing ▪ Use non-medical face mask ▪ Temperature checks ▪ Limit capacity to ensure appropriate physical distancing
Markets ▪ Allocate day and time for opening of shops based on arrangements by local authorities ▪ Observe all mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions ✓ Observe physical distancing ✓ Ensure supply of running water and soap/alcohol sanitizer ✓ Temperature checks at all entrances and by shop/stall owners ✓ Use of face masks always ✓ Maintenance of environmental hygiene in the market ✓ Ensure presence of health officers at the abattoirs
Hotels, Restaurants and Eateries ▪ Hotels may re-open but must observe all mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions ▪ Restaurants in hotels are to only cater for residents ▪ Restaurants (other than those in hotels) to remain closed for eat-ins ▪ Eateries to prioritise and continue practicing the take-away system with strict cleanliness
Bars, Gyms, Cinemas and Night Clubs ▪ Closed until further evaluation
Agriculture ▪ Farmers to adhere to physical distancing on site ▪ Ensure provision of cleaning stations at all points of entry ▪ Observe all mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions ✓ Observe physical distancing ✓ Ensure supply of running water and soap/alcohol sanitizer ✓ Temperature checks ✓ Use of face masks always
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES ASPECT RECOMMENDATION Day-care and Primary Schools ▪ All schools to remain closed till further evaluation. ▪ Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and visual teaching. ▪ Arrangements to be made for exiting (graduating) students to undertake exams in the next phase of ease of lockdown.
Secondary and Tertiary Institutions ▪ All schools to remain closed till further evaluation. ▪ Preparation should be made for graduating classes to finish exams with appropriate distancing measures by next phase of ease of lockdown. ▪ Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and visual teaching.
Churches, Mosques/ Places of Worship ▪ Restricted opening subject to the guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by respective state governments ▪ Observe all mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions ✓ Observe physical distancing ✓ Ensure supply of running water and soap/alcohol sanitizer ✓ Temperature checks at all entrances ✓ Use of face masks always ✓ Maintenance of environmental hygiene. See additional guidance in Section III.
Recreational Parks/ Communal Sports/ Hospital visits ▪ Closed until further evaluation ▪ Limited to immediate family members
Funerals ▪ Limited to 20 people including close family members ▪ All attendees must clean hands before and after attendance ▪ Physical distancing must be adhered to for all attendees
SECTION III: GUIDANCE FOR THE CONTAINMENT OF COVID-19 IN PLACES OF WORSHIP In view of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Nigeria, it is important that places of worship operate in a safe manner to ensure the protection of public health, avoid outbreaks and safeguard the health of vulnerable members of the population. To this end, the following guidelines have been developed as a minimum set of standards that have to be complied with for places of worship to safely operate nationwide. They have been developed by the PTF in liaison with leadership of the religious communities in the country and should be used by State governments as the baseline for permitting the use of these facilities. It is important to note that due to the nature of religious gatherings, places of worship are particularly recognised to have a major potential for spreading COVID-19 among worshippers, as demonstrated by several outbreaks globally linked to religious gatherings. Therefore, places of worship that are unable to comply with these measures should not be allowed to operate and may face prosecution. a. All places of worship must sign up to full compliance with all aspects of non- pharmaceutical interventions required to protect the public from COVID-19, including but not limited to: i. Ensuring the supply of running water and soap/alcohol sanitisers at entry and exit points and in all high-contact locations including bathrooms; ii. Worshippers must sanitise their hands before entry; iii. Provision of temperature checks before entry; iv. Mandatory use of face masks; v. Strongly discourage all close contact including shaking hands, hugging, kissing, handing out of materials and sharing of worship implements including prayer mats, musical organs, microphones etc; vi. Limit the capacity of the facility to allow for physical distancing of at least 2m between persons. Consider the use of floor/surface markings to guide distancing. Encourage people from same household to stay together; vii. State governments to provide guidance on local arrangements for limiting capacity of places of worship based on strict maintenance of physical distancing rules; viii. Volunteers should be limited to exact numbers needed and none should have an underlying medical condition or be above the age of 55 years; and ix. The leadership of the mosques/churches will be responsible for full compliance with these rules.
b. Limit congregational contact times, with places of worship only opening for regular church and mosque services; i. Churches to open from 5am and close by 8pm; ii. For churches, each service shall be for a maximum of 1 hour with an interval of 30 mins in between services to allow time for disinfection; iii. Mosques, to open 15 mins before Adhan and close 10 mins after prayers for the five prayers. Waiting period between Adhan and Iqamah should not be more than 10 minutes. Prayers to be shortened to reduce duration of contact between congregations; iv. For Friday prayers, mosques are to open 20 minutes before prayers and close 20 minutes after prayers. Total time for Friday prayers including sermons should not exceed 1 hour; v. Islamiyah schools, All-Night Vigil, Sunday School and children activities are to remain suspended. For mosques, only the five daily prayers and Friday prayer services are allowed; vi. Mass gatherings that make compliance with physical distancing impossible are not allowed. Stagger prayer sessions if necessary, to encourage greater opportunity for physical distancing. Encourage worshippers to sign up for preferred service time. Make virtual worship option available; vii. Plan for separate entry and exit points and measures to direct the flow of people to avoid crowding and breach of physical distancing rules; viii. There should be no social gatherings either before or after worship; and ix. Business outlets within the church or mosque premises should remain closed.
c. Advise vulnerable individuals such as those aged 55 years and above, those with impaired immune systems (e.g. HIV, cancer treatment) and underlying co-morbidities such as diabetes and heart disease to stay at home and consider remote participation or non-contact attendance e.g. drive-in services. d. Improve environmental hygiene and avoid surface contamination; i. Places of worship should preferably be free of carpets to allow easy and regular disinfection of floors and furniture; ii. Keep all windows open during services and preferably use non-enclosed spaces/open air services as much as possible; iii. Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, high traffic areas, common areas, and bathrooms; and iv. Use dilute bleach (1000ppm) to disinfect all surfaces regularly after removal of visible dirt.
e. Keep infected persons out and reduce the risk of onward transmission; i. Public awareness campaign through effective messaging using conventional media and online outlets and placing of signages/notices at strategic locations. This should address common symptoms, risk of transmission, vulnerability to severe illness, etc; ii. Remind worshippers not to attend in person if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, shortness of breath or have had close contact with an infected person in the last 14 days; iii. Exclude all worshippers noted to have a temperature or are symptomatic on arrival at the place of worship; iv. Keep up-to-date record of staffing including contact details and if possible, a full record of attendees at every service to enable contact tracing; and v. Considering the dangers posed by the pandemic, any religious visits to homes by religious clerics should be discouraged.
State Governments and Security Agencies are enjoined to ensure effective and strict enforcement of these guidelines while respecting the exemptions approved by the PTF.
The level of compliance with these guidelines will continue to be reviewed in due course.
(Signed) Boss Mustapha Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19