By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – As the world battle to curb the spread of the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has called for compulsory use of face masks and sanitizers in market places in the country.
Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the use of face masks and hand sanitisers on market days are non-negotiable to limit the spread of the virus.
Adebayo, who stated this in Abuja, at the weekly briefing of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the Committee on Sustainable Production/Delivery of Essential Commodities During COVID-19 emphasized on need to observe Market Protocol which is wearing of face masks and having hand sanitiser among other precautionary measures on approved market days before being allowed access into the market for transactions.
“I need to stress that, while there is an undeniable need for markets to be open on some days for people to restock on household supplies, it is most important for the set protocol during the process to be complied with to the latter.
“The use of face masks and hand sanitisers on market days are non-negotiable to limit the spread of the virus until the scourge blows over” Adebayo said.
Speaking further, the Minister said the Federal Government is collaborating with stakeholders in the production of sanitizers in the country to ensure quick and mass production of the products.
He said the ministry has arranged a teleconference with almost all producers of sanitisers in the country to find a way of ensuring that they don’t fine it difficult in getting ethanol in order to make the byproducts available and cheap for all Nigerians to access.
Adebayo also used the forum to call on security operatives to allow farmers access to their farms for necessary farm activities like fertilizing and harvest in order to ensure food sufficiency during COVID-19.
He, however called on farmers to wear their face masks as well as observe other preventive measures put in place by relevant authorities.
” This synergy between our law enforcement agencies, our essential goods manufacturers and the producers and the Ministry, has allowed us to be able to meet critical demands at this time.
“I wish to also add that, while on duty, our law enforcement agencies must do well to allow farmers access their farms for necessary farm activities like fertilizing and harvest in order to ensure food sufficiency during COVID-19 and beyond.
“The farmers must however, wear their face masks as well as observe other preventive measures before they are let through”, he said.