The federal government is considering opening up more sectors of the polity, even as Nigeria prepares to end the second.phase of the eased lockdown today.
This was disclosed by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He said this on Sunday after the PTF submitted its report to President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Mustapha, the PTF has recommended that the places of worship, schools and businesses across the country should be reopened.
“But you know that Mr President is the only one that can take decisions in respect of that. In the framework, the states are sub-nationals; they have their own responsibilities too. So, it is in the exercise of those responsibilities that they met with religious bodies and agreed on the protocols and guidelines on how to open up. But in the framework of the national response, we are taking that into consideration,” he said.
He noted also that each state .just take responsibility for the next phase of the lockdown relaxation.
Mustapha said a lot of issues on the easing of the lockdown were considered in the report, and the task force awaits the president’s decision before further guidelines will be issued.
“The issue of easing up, you know we were in the first phase and we had an extension of two weeks for the first phase. The next phase should be the second phase and along with that, we came with a lot of recommendations which we expect Mr President to consider,” he said.
“I can assure you of one thing: the ownership of the next phase will be the responsibility of the states under national supervision and coordination, because we have gone into community transmission. Where are the communities? The communities are in the states.
“So, the ownership of the next phase will be that of the states, the local governments, the traditional institutions, the religious leaders at the different levels of our communities. That is where the problem is.
“Like we have kept saying, 20 local government (areas) out of 744 account for 60 per cent of confirmed cases in Nigeria today. So, where are these 20 local governments? They are in the communities. It means that we have reached the epitome of community transmission, so we must get the communities involved.”