President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to sanction travellers who fail to abide by new measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Under Buhari’s new order, the PTF can sanction violators to any extent that Nigerian laws permit.
Buhari also extended PTF’s mandate till the end of March 2021.
Buhari announced the extension at a meeting he had with members of the task force during which they presented their end-of-the-year report to him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president attributed the extension to the second wave of the virus.
Buhari also directed the PTF and the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure that all in-bound passengers who failed to show up for post -arrival COVID-19 test were sanctioned within the ambit of the law.
“I have authorised the following measures for implementation: the extension of the mandate of the PTF for a further period till the end of March, 2021 bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines,” Buhari said.
“That the PTF should coordinate the process for planning and the strategy for accessing, delivery and administration of the vaccines using the existing health structures that have worked in the past in vaccine administration.
“Authorised the PTF to engage with the states for them to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions.
“Details of the advisory measures have already been announced.
“Authorised the PTF and the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure that all in-bound passengers who failed to show up for post -arrival COVID-19 test are sanctioned within the ambit of the law, for breaching the public health protocols.”
As the festive season approaches, the president urged all Nigerians to remain vigilant, warning that non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, in his remarks, said Nigeria stood at 78,434 cases and 1,221 deaths.