By Stanley Onyekwere
Businessmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital city have been asked to choose between complying with COVID-19 safety guidelines or having their business premises shutdown, so as to prevent further spread of the deadly virus.
Head, Media and Public Enlightenment of the FCT COVID-19 task force, Ikharo Attah who issued the two choices while monitoring compliance in some shopping malls and business premises across the city, however advised them against doing anything that could hamper their business activities.
Ikharo warned that the FCTA would “not hesitate to shut down shopping malls, Maitama farmers’ market and other business premises in the city that fail to comply with the covid-19 protocols and guidelines.
“From what we observed, there is high compliance by customers and visitors to these malls and business premises, sadly, same cannot be said of the workers and operators of shops and other businesses in the malls.
“A situation in which owners of shops and their workers believed that the guidelines and health protocols are for customers and visitors is highly unacceptable. The health protocols are for all to observe.”
According to him, the COVID-19 health protocols which were very simple include wearing of facemasks, points for washing of hands and maintaining of physical distancing, even as he frowned at the situation where some shopping malls do not even have crowd control policies, leading to contravention of the physical distancing guideline.
He revealed that at the Maitama Farmers’ market, his taskforce observed strong disregard for the protocols as most people were not wearing facemasks and there was only one washing point at the market.
Other places visited were the Jabi Lake Mall, Novera Shoprite Mall along the Nnamdi Azikiwi International Airport road and some business premises at Wuse and Maitama Districts.