FCT Minister approves full re-opening of markets

NEWS DIGEST – The  Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, has approved the full reopening of market operations in Abuja.

The approval allows the extension of market operations to seven days weekly, from three days, to take effect July 30, 2020.

The operation of markets across the FCT was suspended following the outbreak of Covid- 19 pandemic in the country.

The restriction on market operations was however gradually relaxed by the FCT administration to two days of trading weekly and subsequently reviewed upward to three trading days.

Bello on Wednesday lifted the restriction on market operations during a virtual meeting between members of the FCT COVID-19 Response Team, senior members of the Administration and members of the Coalition of FCT Market Chairmen and Secretaries led by its Chairman, Raphael Okorie.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye,  the meeting deliberated on the request by the Coalition of FCT Market Chairmen and Secretaries for the operational days of FCT markets to be extended to all seven days of the week as against the three days weekly that is currently in effect.

The statement stated, “As part of measures to decongest the markets in the FCT and further check the spread of COVID-19, market operations have been extended from three days a week to all seven days in the week from 7:00am to 6:00pm effective  from Thursday, 30th July 2020.

“The Abuja Market Management Limited and various market associations will continue to carry out sensitization activities to enlighten market users on COVID-19 and the necessity of obeying all extant health and safety protocols.

“Access to the markets and operations within the markets will only be permitted with the wearing of facial coverings and adherence to all extant health and safety guidelines inclusive of hand washing and maintenance of physical distancing.”

The FCT authorities further noted that a breach of the guidelines would compel the FCTA  to withdraw the extension.