Lockdown: FCT minister extends market hours

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Malam Mohammed Bello, has okayed the extension of business hours for markets in the territory.

Consequently, markets will now be opened between 8 am and 3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The directive which takes effect from Saturday is against the earlier approved time of 10:00am to 2:00pm.

The minister also directed the decongestion of the existing markets through the establishment of Neighbourhood Selling Points in the various districts within the Federal Capital City (FCC) by Abuja Markets Management Limited.

He urged residents to support the intent of the lockdown by patronising markets in their neighbourhoods, even as he ordered the law enforcement agencies to clamp down on residents who hide under the window of market days to flout government’s directives.

Bello, who gave the directives on Thursday during a review meeting on the Administration’s Covid-19 pandemic response strategy, also urged Abuja Markets Management Limited to liaise with the FCT area councils to ensure full implementation of all Covid-19 pandemic protocols.

In order to ensure quick set up of the Neighbourhood Selling Points, the Minister further directed relevant FCTA secretariats, departments and agencies to support government to actualise the mandate.

Ahead of the take-off of the Neighbourhood Selling Points, Bello said all users of markets must use face masks and also observe social distancing.

He, therefore, mandated the managing director, Abuja Markets Management Limited, Abubakar Usman Faruk, to ensure that existing selling points for food items within the markets “are decentralised immediately to achieve social distancing.”

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