The Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Fintiri has announced the suspension of all training, workshops, seminars and official trips outside the State for the next three months as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic.
Fintiri gave the directive in a special broadcast to the people of the state on Monday in Yola.
He said that other measures adopted by the government to prevent and contain the spread of the deadly disease, included the setting of an Isolation Ward equipped with modern facilities at the Yola Specialist Hospital.
“ As result, all trainings, workshops, seminars and official trips outside the state are hereby suspended for the period of three months, subject to review as the situation warrants.
“ And all conventions and congresses that will warrant a gathering of more than fifty people at a time, are hereby banned till further notice.
“ For the avoidance of doubt, all forms of social, religious and cultural gatherings, that will equally attract more than fifty people are also hereby banned,’’ Fintiri said.
He urged religious and traditional leaders to enlighten the people on why the measures were necessary, so as to secure and protect the lives of the citizens.
He added that the government had resolved to implement cost saving measures including downward review of its 2020 budget by 20 per cent and reduction in overhead cost by 50 per cent.
“To cushion the effect of the alarming economic challenge of COVID-19, government has agreed on a 50 per cent reduction in the cost of house rent, commercial shops and business premises.
“ Government is aware of the impact of the economic implication of the current meltdown on informal businesses where majority of citizens are involved and has graciously approved another 50 per cent reduction in the taxes affecting this category,” the governor said.
He noted that government was mindful of the need to shore-up its earnings through intensified effort on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in areas where there would be minimal effect on the wellbeing of the public.
According to the governor, a 9-man Adamawa State COVID-19 Containment Committee was constituted as part of the overall objective of preventing the spread of the disease.
He said that Mallam Bashiru Ahmad, Secretary to the State Government, is the Chairman of the committee while the state Director, will serve as Secretary.
He said that the committee would coordinate the overall medico-social response to COVID-19 pandemic, public sensitisation and implementation of containment measures.
“There is no doubt that going by what is happening now, the financial inflow of the state government has been affected, but while adjusting to the prevailing reality, government will do its best to implement the agenda it has set out to achieve.
“ In view of this, government may eventually consider a working holiday for all categories of staff except those on essential services, such as, cleaners, technical staff in Water Board, Fire Service, Hospitals, Health and Media Personnel.
“Government has since directed that all public/private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions should close on or before Friday, March 27, 2020 and proceed on a one month recess, subject to review,’’ Fintiri said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there had yet to be an official record of any suspected COVID – 19 case in Adamawa.