THE Federal Capital Territory Administration on Friday approved the extension of business hours for markets in Abuja to operate from 8a.m. to 3p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Muhammad Bello , Minister of FCT said in a press statement that the directive would take effect from Saturday, April 25.
Before this new directive, Abuja markets were allowed to operate from 10a.m. to 2p.m.
Bello also directed the decongestion of the existing markets through the establishment of Neighbourhood Selling Points in the various districts within the Federal Capital City by Abuja Markets Management Agency.
He urged Abuja Markets Management to liaise with the FCT Area Councils to ensure full implementation of all Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic protocols with regards to the markets across all the nooks and crannies of Abuja.
While urging FCT residents to support the intent of the lockdown by patronising markets in their neighbourhoods, the minister ordered law enforcement agencies to clamp down on residents who use the pretext of going to the market to disobey government directives.
“The concept of Neighbourhood Selling Points is aimed at taking pressure off the existing markets in the FCT through the provision of an initial 40 units–adopting either public schools or green areas where they exist- across the various districts in the FCC .
“This will further enhance the attainment of social distancing among residents which is a key requirement for eventual winning of the battle against the dreaded virus,” he added.
The minister further directed relevant FCTA secretariats, departments and agencies to support Abuja Markets Management agency to actualise the mandate with a view to ensure quick set up of the selling points.