Kaduna State Government is fashioning out a framework to allow businesses that offer essential services to operate within the stay-at-home period and within limits.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, who made this known in a state broadcast on Saturday, said the decision was taken to avoid shortages in the food supply, beverages, and pharmaceuticals to residents.
Dr Balarabe said that the businesses would be allowed to operate “because they are central to the lives, health, well-being and survival of our people, but they will require special permits to operate.”
The Deputy Governor further said that “businesses that fall within this category are expected to apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology which will grant such permits after due diligence.”
Dr Balarabe reiterated that the government would not compromise the COVID-19 Protocol on mass gathering and social distancing even when such permits are granted, warning that, “in the event of default, a business can lose such privilege.”
According to her, the government has been responding to peoples concern in keeping to its “people-first mantra” and would review the lockdown order regularly.
Dr Balarabe listed such responses to include the two-day window allowing citizens to restock food items, exempting trucks conveying foodstuffs from the restriction of movement and the distribution of palliatives to households.
The deputy governor revealed that the State Executive Council had approved a Governance Continuation Plan.
“Under the plan, all the five Policy Councils will resume their weekly meetings, while the State Exco will continue to meet monthly, and all other meetings will also continue to hold.
“Similarly, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been mandated to also develop their governance continuation plans, enabling their activities to continue remotely.
Dr Balarabe further said that all memoranda for consideration would be submitted electronically, while approvals will be given in like manner.
“Although these initiatives have become the new order, which Coronavirus has brought upon us, they are, however nonetheless in line with our administration’s policy of e-governance, which emphasizes the digitization of government processes.”