The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has approved the extension of business hours for markets in Abuja.
Bello in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, said the market would operate from 8 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
He explained that the directive which takes effect from Saturday, April 25, was against the earlier approved time of 10 am. to 2 pm.
He also directed that the existing markets through the establishment of neighborhood selling points in the various districts within the Federal Capital City, be decongested by Abuja Markets Management L.t.d.
Bello, therefore, urged FCT residents to support the lockdown by patronizing markets in their neighborhoods.
The minister ordered the law enforcement agencies to clamp down on residents who hide under the window of market days to flout government directives.
Bello also urged Abuja Markets Management L.t.d to liaise with the FCT Area Councils to ensure full implementation of all COVID-19 pandemic protocols with regards to the markets across all the nooks and crannies of Abuja.
He explained that the concept of neighborhood selling points was aimed at taking pressure off the existing markets in the FCT through the provision of an initial 40 units-adopting either public schools or green areas where they exist across the various districts in the city.
”This 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.”
Bello insisted that all users of markets in the FCT must use face mask and also observe social distancing.