COVID-19: Niger Govt. directs closure of schools, tertiary institutions



The Niger state government has directed the closure of public and private schools as well as tertiary institutions across the state from Dec. 18, over the spike of COVID-19.

Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman, Niger State Task Force on COVID-19, gave the directives in a statement in Minna on Thursday.

He explained that the closure followed an upsurge of COVID-19 in the country, adding that the second wave of the coronavirus in the country necessitated the closure of all schools in the state for one month.

Matane said that the state government also directed all civil servants to stay at home from Dec. 21 till further notice except those on essential services.

He enjoined the people of the state to quickly return to the use of face masks, physical and social distancing to curb the spread of the virus in the state, adding that coronavirus was still very much around.

“In spite of massive advocacy and sensitisation by the government, it is disappointing to see the crowd at worship centres, banks, markets, motor parks across the state flouting the coronavirus guidelines.

“We will be forced to take the painful decision of bringing the State under the COVID-19 Preventive, Containment and Emergency Order if it remains clear that Nigerlites are determined to flout the rules,” he said.

He called on financial institutions, supermarkets, corporate entities and commercial vehicles and motorcycle owners to strictly ensure the enforcement of “no face mark, no entry” in order to halt further spread of the scourge in the communities.

The Chairman expressed optimism that the fight against the dreaded virus would be won if residents adhere strictly to the safety protocols of COVID-19. (NAN)