Buhari signs COVID-19 Regulations, 2020

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SUNDAY ODE, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has given legal backing to all the measures he had so far introduced in efforts to contain the ravaging Coronavirus as he signed COVID -19 Regulations 2020, declaring the virus a dangerous infectious disease.

Buhari signed the Regulations on Monday, barely 24 hours after his national broadcast during which he announced the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT among other far reaching decisions in response to the fast spreading deadly disease.

The signing of the COVID -19 Regulations 2020 may have put paid to the arguments in some quarters that the President lacked unilateral powers to shut down any state of the federation without authorization by the parliament.

In a statement released on Monday night, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said President Buhari signed the Regulations in exercise of his powers derivable from Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act 2004 and all other powers enabling him in that behalf.

The statement said the regulations gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s Sunday national broadcast, especially the 14-day lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT towards combating the Coronavirus pandemic.

It also announced the exemption of the financial sector from the compulsory sit-at-home order for the two states and the FCT which came into effect Monday night.

The statement read: “In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, signed the Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, which  declared Covid-19 a dangerous infectious disease.

“The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.”

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