Written by Sarah NEGEDU
Social distancing: FCTA moves to decongest markets ... to establish 40 neighborhood selling points
The FCT Administration is looking to set up Neighbourhood Selling Points across the various districts of the territory as part of measures to decongest existing markets throughout the lock down period.
Minister Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mallam Mohammed Bello, who disclosed this yesterday during a review meeting on the Administration’s COVID 19 pandemic response strategy, said the concept of Neighbourhood Selling Points is aimed at taking pressure off the existing markets in the FCT.
He therefore directed relevant FCTA Secretariats, Departments and Agencies to support the Abuja Markets Management Limited, AMML, to ensure quick set up of an initial 40 units of Neighbourhood Selling Points.
The AMML was further advised to adopt either public schools or green areas (where they exist) across the various districts in the FCC as neighborhood selling points.
Bello is optimistic that the neighborhood selling points will further enhance the attainment of social distancing among residents which is a key requirement for eventual winning of the battle against the dreaded virus.
Even ahead of the take-off of the Neighbourhood Selling Points, the Minister has approved the extension of business hours for existing markets to now run from 8am to 3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
This directive which takes effect from the next market day Saturday April 25, 2020 is against the earlier approved time of 10am to 2pm.
Bello insisted that all users of markets in the FCT must use face mask and also observe social distancing, even as he encouraged the markets managers to continue to sensitize market users on other hand and respiratory hygiene.
While urging FCT residents to support the intent of the lockdown by patronizing markets in their neighbourhoods , the Minister ordered the Law enforcement Agencies to clamp down on residents who hide under the window of market days to flout Government directives.