The ban on all flights in Nigeria which is due to expire today (Thursday), has been extended by another four weeks in the face of the raging coronavirus pandemic.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SSG), Boss Mustapha and Chairman of the task announced the extension during the daily briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said: “Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the last day for the enforcement of the closure of Nigeria’s airspace to flights. We have assessed the situation in the aviation industry and have come to the conclusion that given the facts available to us and based on the advice of experts, the ban on all flights will be extended for an additional four weeks.”
According to the PTF chairman, the outcomes of the modelling it has adopted suggest that dangers lie ahead for the country.
According to him, “The overall assessment of compliance with the measures and outcomes of modelling we have developed point in the direction of danger ahead.
“We therefore need personal discipline, increased awareness and enforcement. The PTF calls on community, religious and traditional leaders to take up this challenge.
“Similarly, we call on, trade associations, professional bodies and organisations to complement the efforts of government. The PTF appreciates your current efforts but it has become very obvious that more needs to be done, together.”
Mustapha however, lamented that early assessment of the ease of lockdown phase indicated that Nigerians are yet to come to terms with the deadliness and the virulent nature of the COVID-19 “and this gives us concerns on the high possibility of increased seeding of the virus to hitherto un-affected persons and populations.”
The chairman stated that the PTF recognises the challenges encountered at the banks with the ease of lockdown and assured that the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as the Bankers’ Committee have put in place strategies that would reduce such re-occurrence.
Mustapha called for the use of the period of pandemic to build social solidarity by eschewing stigmatisation, support the mental well-being of citizens that are infected, provide for the poor, sick, aged and vulnerable.
He stressed the need for individual and collective safety and appealed to Nigerians “to demonstrate our duty to ourselves and loved ones by minimizing the risk of getting infected by the virus.
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