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President Buhari aligns with ATCON’s submission, exempts telecoms workers from 14-day lockdown

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As lockdown looms in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State by mid-night today as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, President Muhammadu Buhari has aligned with the submission of Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON.
President Buhari

President Buhari during his nationwide broadcast on COVID-19 on March 29, 2020

The Association requested that the Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should initiate the process of National Right-of-Passage (nRoP) for all technical staff of telecommunications companies in the event of foreseeable lockdown by either the Federal Government or the State Government in an attempt to curb the spread of Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Meanwhile, the President, in a 20-minute address to the nation on March 29, 2020, counted workers of telecommunication companies among those exempted from the movement restrictions due to peculiarities of their operations.

Part of the President’s message reads: “This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

“Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;

  1. food processing, distribution and retail companies;
  2. petroleum distribution and retail entities,
  3. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
  4. private security companies are also exempted.

“Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted”.

Going by the President’s order, “All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

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“Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas”.

Recall that the National Executive Council of ATCON led by the President, Engineer Olusola Teniola, made a case for telecommunications technical staff to continue to service the networks to avoid breakdown.

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