* Rivers state closes air, sea, land borders
NIMASA joins sit at home for workers, essential staff to work on rotation bBasis
All markets in Lagos are expected to be closed down this morning in response to the directive of the Lagos State government as part of the efforts to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The closure will be for seven days after which government will consider a review.
Following the announcement of the closure, Lagosians were in a rush to buy food stuffs as at Wednesday night.
Most markets, it was gathered were filled up as women went shopping to fill their homes with food and other essentials.
However, the state government said it will create market outlets where it will sell directly some food items during the period of the closure.
The state government had first announced closure of offices in the state for non-essential services.
Only those engaged in essential services, such as hospitals, filling stations, fire service stations, among others are exempted.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government Wednesday announced closure of its air, sea and land border routes in a move to check the spread of the disease.
Governor Nyesom Wike of the state announced the measure in a broadcast to the people of the state.
He said, “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our state would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents, who, acting on a tip-off, prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.
“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and was to sneak into Port Harcourt by air before security agents stopped her.
“Based on this alarming information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place, and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions: With effect from 6p.m. on March 26, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, will not be open to air traffic. While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our state. We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.
“All land and sea borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned. In essence, no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other state and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.”
Furthermore, in line with the federal government directive, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) also Wednesday asked staff of the agency within the category of grade level 1-12 to stay at home.
But the agency in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Mr Isichei Osmagbi, added that the Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh directed all Heads of Departments, Units and Zonal Coordinators to identify some essential staff who will be on duty in their locations on a rotational basis for the next couple of weeks, in order not to totally halt the operations of the Agency until the situation improves.
The statement said all visits to the Agency are restricted to Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12noon and 2pm only, for visitors of Assistant Directors and above. Shipping companies and agents as well as other critical stakeholders who transact with operational departments and units of the Agency are however exempt from this condition. The media and others can reach the Agency on the various online platforms; www.nimasa.gov.ng, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @nimasaofficial amongst others.
The Management further advised all staff that have traveled to countries with high incidences of COVID-19 recently to self-isolate for 14 days and inform the NIMASA Search and Rescue Base (SRBC) Clinic for close monitoring.
The Agency equally advised all staff and citizens to familiarize themselves with the much publicized precautionary measures on COVID-19, such as a high level of hygiene, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and above all stay safe during this period.