By Charles Nwaoguji
Traders across the country has commended Federal government for allowing the markets to open between 10am to 2pm for food sales during lockdown.
According to the chairman of International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE) section of Alaba International, Evangelist Paulinus Ugochukwu, with this opening of the market, Nigerians would see food on their table to eat. For the past weeks, it has been difficult for Nigerians to survive as various markets across the countries are shut down due to the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.
On our part, in a bid to address the potential impact of the virus on the Nigerian economy, he said the Association has advised members to ensure they sensitize and educate their workers on compliance with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines; and provide requisite facilities and supplies for the prevention of COVID-19 in line with extant guidelines of the NCDC.
Given the fundamental role markets will be playing at a time like this, he noted Alaba traders have been encouraged to sustain ongoing operations needed to curtail the spread of the virus (COVID-19).
“As traders adhere to safety rules and keeping the economy running, it is expedient that Government provide safety nets for these group of its public to ensure seamless operations,” he said.
Ultimately, he stated that the Association advises safety in all lines of the market. Therefore, traders have been urged to make it a point of duty to assure their employees, vendors, customers and all relevant stakeholders of best health practices.
“For emphasis, we would enjoin the general public to take seriously the protective measure of regular hand washing with soap and water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, practice of good personal hygiene; maintenance of social distancing and sufficiently stay abreast of additional directives from the National Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization,” he said.
It could recalled that since the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30, 2020 declared the outbreak of Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Since then, it becomes imperative for stringent actions to be taken by the World and indeed, Nigeria to help its citizens adjust and cope with the pandemic.
Nigeria recorded its first case on February 25,2020 which was further confirmed on the 27th. It is also comforting to note that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are not resting on their oars through drafting of the different protocols for safety disseminated to the general public all in a bid to ensure the safety of citizens.