Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, says security agencies will henceforth enforce jail term against COVID-19 violators.Boss Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, called on the states to set up appropriate structures and systems for COVID-19 regulation enforcement.
It may be recalled that the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, last week signed a law enforcing observance of non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 protocols.
Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant local government, state and Federal Government agencies were directed to enforce the provisions of the regulations.
Mustapha said that the bill, titled, “COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021,” is an exercise of the powers as conferred on the President by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act.
The regulations enforce physical distancing of at least two meters and a regulation of the number of people to be admitted in an enclosed environment.
Also, Mustapha said, “The second part of the law addresses operations of public places like open markets, malls, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks and fitness centres.“The law provides for wearing of face masks, handwashing, and use of hand sanitisers, among others.“It stipulates a penalty of a fine or a prison term of six months for offenders.“The President said that the law takes immediate effect.”He also said all the nation’s security agencies had been briefed to ensure the enforcement of the “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021” signed into law by the President.
“The presidential Task Force( PTF) strongly appeals to all sub-national entities to please remain conscious of the rising numbers and the associated fatalities.They are, therefore, required to establish appropriate structures and systems for the enforcement.
“The PTF will continue to collaborate with the Nigeria Governors Forum on the management of this public health emergency because every citizen resides within the jurisdiction of the states.
“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 added.