By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security agents at Covid-19 lockdown checkpoint to allow trucks transporting food and other essential items to pass through interstate highways.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, Buhari stressed that his declaration on lockdown in some parts of the country as a result f the Covid-19 was never meant to stop Nigerians from having access to food, drugs or other essential items.
According to the statement signed by Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President said:
“it is essential that attention be drawn to the reported large number of food trucks that are being delayed at various checkpoints around the country or prevented from crossing state borders, as a result of the various curfews and lockdowns in different states.
“The restrictions of movement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic do not apply to vehicles transporting essential commodities, such as food.
“The country cannot afford a situation where agricultural products are being left to rot in trucks held at various checkpoints, when millions of Nigerians across the country need food. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, Nigerians need to eat.
“Other essential items that can be transported despite the ban on movement as prescribed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) include: pharmaceutical and sanitary supplies, personal care items, agro chemicals and agricultural machinery, electrical products and electronics, oil and gas, courier services, health supplies and protective garments.
“Vehicles transporting essential items must not convey any commercial passengers. In addition, the occupants must not exceed three, i.e. the driver, spare driver, and conductor.
“The drivers must have basic protective and sanitary items, including: face masks, hand sanitisers, and tissue paper to and from their destinations. Once these conditions are satisfied, they must be allowed to travel freely to and from any part of Nigeria.”