GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi has announced that all worship centres across Ekiti State will open on July 17 while schools are to partially resume on July 20 as part of a gradual plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions.
Like most states across Nigeria, Ekiti closed down all its schools, worship centres, sporting facilities, recreation centres and banned all public gatherings. With the easing of the lockdown, most Nigerian states are opening schools, churches and mosques and Governor Fayemi has revealed that in Ekiti State, religious services will resume on Friday, July 17, while the first phase of school reopening will commence on July 20.
In a state-wide broadcast, the governor said the move was in line with the agreement reached by the state government and leaders of religious organisations in the state. Governor Fayemi added that arrangements were in top gear to ensure that pupils and students return to schools from July 20 as recommended by stakeholders in the education sector.
He said the two largest markets in Ado Ekiti, the Oja Oba and Bisi Markets, hitherto shut, would now have their lock-up shops opened but this would be subject to compliance with protocols. Governor Fayemi, however, stressed that street trading, makeshift stalls, kiosks and open display of wares in the said markets remained banned.
According to Governor Fayemi the state government had taken a N2.5bn life insurance policy of N2m each for 500 frontline medical personnel involved in Covid-19 activities in addition to the prompt payment of special allowances to qualified staff. Also, Governor Fayemi said security agencies have been directed to henceforth arrest and prosecute any person caught in public places without wearing facemasks covering the nose, mouth and chin.
On Friday, July 17, religious services will resume with a Jumat service and on Sunday 19 there will be a service by Christians. However, Governor Fayemi said social distancing of six feet must be observed and hand washing as well as use of face masks would be compulsory.
In addition, the governor said that maximum capacity for each building should be determined with the six feet social distancing principle, adding that the number must be displayed outside the building. He said that a special task force would go round to assess the level of compliance and issue a Certificate of Readiness before worship centres could reopen.
Governor Fayemi said that any erring worship centre would be shut down and the cleric prosecuted. He added that school resumption from July 20 would be in phases, starting with students in terminal classes SS3, JSS3 and Primary six to enable them prepare for their examinations, while other classes would be gradually absorbed as schools meet all requirements to accommodate them.
According to the governor a Certificate of Readiness showing that a particular school has adhered to all conditions required for school reopening would first be issued before any school could reopen. He added that his government would ensure that water, sanitizers, soap and other facilities are in place once the schools open.