MUHAMMAD Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on Monday directed that markets in the territory will now only operate three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 7.000 am to 2:00pm.
A statement issued by Anthony Ogunleye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister explained that this was part of measures to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT.
He stated that Bello issued this directive in Abuja on Monday, April 6 during a meeting with FCT Market Managers and the top hierarchy of the FCT Police Command, led by the FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma.
Ogunleye disclosed that Bello who was represented at the meeting by the Director of Security Services Department, Adamu Gwary, noted that that only retailers would be allowed to operate within the markets as wholesale services would not be permitted.
The Minister, according to him, however directed market managers and the FCT Police Command to ensure compliance with the directive by monitoring all entry and exit points of the various markets as well as activities of the traders.
He also advised FCT residents to patronize markets within their neighbourhoods rather than going to the major markets in the city centre, in order to limit the spread of the virus between communities in the FCT.
In his remarks, Bala Ciroma, the FCT Police Commissioner, assured that the FCT Police Command would enforce the directive, even as he advised residents against flouting this regulation.