The group which was established to respond to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic said the “response must take into consideration Nigeria’s realities: recession, high unemployment and rising insecurity”.
In a statement on Saturday by Atedo Peterside, chairman of the foundation, and Abubakar Mohammed, its vice-chairman, the group said Nigeria cannot afford to shut down small businesses.
“While countries across the world are experimenting with variations of lockdown measures to balance lives and livelihoods as infection cases rise amidst the yuletide season and festivities, we should look to countries with similar realities such as Ethiopia and Senegal.
“We recommend: One, businesses stay open across the country on the condition that all Nigerians self-regulate and ‘celebrate responsibly’ by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance from others, avoiding indoor crowds and washing hands frequently.
“Two, the intensification of campaigns on public health policy behavioral change with firm and humane oversight by applicable agencies and society leaders. Three, those who can, should be encouraged to work from home.
“Finally, Nigeria need not join the reactive ban on flights to and from the United Kingdom and/or other hotspots due to our existing robust travel protocols requiring tests before boarding, 7 days isolation on arrival and a second test.
“However, closer monitoring of the post-arrival COVID quarantine of travellers into Nigeria will help limit the risk of imported infections.
“We believe that effective implementation of the above measures along with adherence to recent awareness campaigns spearheaded by NCDC, PTF, Kaduna and Lagos State Governments can help ease the hardship on citizens whilst curbing the spread of Covid-19.”
By Abel Ejikeme