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Nigeria to ease Abuja and Lagos lockdowns on 4 May


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NAIROBI, April 28 : Nigeria will begin a “gradual easing” of coronavirus-related lockdowns for millions of people in its largest city Lagos and the capital Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari said the lockdowns, which had been due to end on Monday, needed to continue until 4 May.
He also ordered new nationwide measures against Covid-19, including a night-time curfew and mandatory face masks.
The moves would ensure the economy functioned “while still maintaining our aggressive response”, Mr Buhari said.
The easing will apply to Abuja, Lagos and neighbouring Ogun state, where collectively more than 25 million people have been under lockdown since 30 March. Other states have introduced their own measures.
Before the announcement, workers at a construction site in Lagos rioted in protest at the lockdown.
A police spokesman said the workers at the Lekki Free Trade zone – including those at the oil refinery of billionaire Aliko Dangote – injured several officers in the area. Fifty-one people were arrested, he added.
There are reports that the protesters were angry that some foreign nationals were allowed to go to work at the site.
Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous nation and largest economy, has reported 1,273 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 40 deaths.
In a televised address on Monday night, Mr Buhari acknowledged that the lockdowns in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun had “come at a very heavy economic cost” since they began on 30 March.
“Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihood. Many businesses have shut down,” he said.

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