The Federal Government on Monday warned the Ministries, Departments and parastatal Agencies (MDAs) not to compel their workers on Grade Level (GL) 12 and below to resume work, insisting that they must continue to work from home.
Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), gave the warning at the PTF briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
Mustapha, however, directed the Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers of the MDAs to ensure strict compliance.
He said: “At the last briefing, we informed you that the President has authorised the extension of all measures in place, including the limitation of the categories of workers allowed to come to the office to those above Level 12.
“The PTF has received reports that MDAs are compelling their workers in the categories barred from the offices to report for work.
“For the avoidance of doubts, all employees from GL 12 and below shall continue to work from home.
“And no agency is allowed to vary this instruction. Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are to ensure strict compliance,” he said.
The SGF also reminded Nigerians about enforcement of the new regulation – the CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) HEALTH PROTECTION REGULATIONS, 2021.
Mustapha said it was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010, and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, would be taken seriously.
He said: “In the final analysis, let us remember that it is for the good of the individual and his/her loved ones.
“I also urge the media to please go the extra mile to educate Nigerians and report levels of compliance.”
The PTF chairman said that sanctions and punishments (including jail terms and fines) would be meted out to violators of the COVID-19 protocols.
“The PTF also wishes to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the fact that sanctions and punishments (including jail terms and fines) have been prescribed for violators of the provisions under the regulations.
“All law enforcement agencies have been fully briefed and instructed to enforce the law within the appropriate limits,” Mustapha said.
He said as at Jan. 30, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the new Coronavirus outbreak constituted public health emergency of international concerns, thus triggering the highest level of concerns possible.
The chairman of PTF said one year down the line, the world had seen over 100 million infections and over two million deaths.
“As at the same date, the situation in Nigeria stood at 130,557 infections with 1,578 fatalities,” he said.
Mustapha reassured Nigerians that the processes for accessing and procuring vaccines for Nigerians had advanced, saying PTF would continue to ensure that it would be safe and effective for Nigerians when eventually procured.
“As you are aware, the whole world is pursuing the same commodity, and we have to secure our source while at the same time, preparing our infrastructure and capacity for administration.
“The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) will update you accordingly,” he said.