Nigeria has extended its lockdown by two weeks in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States. Its President Muhammadu Buhari said the extension will come into effect at 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020. Buhari said the West Africa nation’s approach to the virus remains to protect the lives of Nigerian residents and preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners. But on this note, Director General of Atikulated Agenda World wide (Atiku’s Aid) and also the Director General of Global Initiative for Good Governance (GIGG), Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu disclosed to the public his advice to federal government concerning the effect of the lockdown extension to the citizens in general. Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu advised Federal Government to see the neccessity to start paying Nigerians palliatives though to the extension of the lockdown which is expected to add to the hardship of millions of Nigerians living hand-to-mouth.
This statement can be correlated with some citizens lamenting seriously about the extension of the lockdown. Some explained that there were long queues at supermarkets after President Buhari announced the lockdown, with people rushing to stock up on essentials.
But many Nigerians live hand-to-mouth, often on less than $1 (£0.80) and they cannot stock up on food or other essentials.
Many workers are also yet to be paid their wages for March so there are deep concerns about the financial implications of the lockdown extension.
“It’s only those who have money that can buy now. If you do not have, what can you do?” said a taxi driver parked outside a supermarket”.
It is hunger I am worried about, not a virus. I even heard it doesn’t kill young people,” Mrs. Ogunsola lamented.
We know that all these are possible consequences that might worsen if the crisis is not proactively and effectively managed. No doubt, a national lockdown will come with its negative consequences but as they say, no pain, no gain. What is required is an effective national strategy from the Federal Government such as to pay her citizens some palliatives in order to mitigate the pains of a national lockdown.
Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu (ECK)