By Wilfred Aziegbe
Unarguably, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic greeted the world with adverse economic, health, social and political impact.
The seemingly overwhelming economic impact occasioned by the nearly four weeks lockdown imposed by the federal government in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory has no doubt brought untold hardship and difficulty upon most citizens who are largely independent of the government for their income and daily sustenance.
With the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases being reported across the country in spite of commendable efforts by the NCDC and the health sector, there is therefore the urgent need for the FG to explore alternative approach to effectively address this situation.
Relaxation of the imposed lockdown at this point is just the approach regardless of dissenting opinions. Hence, the following is recommended to address our local circumstance and to save our nation from impending economic doom and outright breakdown of law and order.
Government at all levels should be more transparent and extend palliatives to all Nigerians in cash through bank accounts. This is a more efficient and transparent way to reach more Nigerians whose sources of income have been cut off especially workers in the private sector whose jobs are currently being threatened by the lingering lockdown.
Immediate disinfections of our cities, streets, villages should begin. Spray disinfectant tanks should be distributed and trained personnel dispatched to all nook and crannies. The use of face mask for all outdoor movements should be enforced strictly in all public gatherings.
Immediate law to regulate the operation of the public transportation sector should be put in place and strict compliance monitored to ensure that vehicles are not overloaded, with windows open and the use of air condition prohibited for the time being.
Strict compliance to physical distancing should be enforced and monitored in all private business premises. The use of face mask for the time being by staff, security operatives and all front desk workers should be enforced in all sectors for the time being.
Supervised entry and exit points should be created in markets to control crowd. Hand washing points should be installed.
Adequate media advocacy should be embarked upon to promote these aforementioned recommendations in both print and electronic media.
Wilfred Aziegbe writes from Abuja.