Farmers who can identify themselves with any registered farming associations are allowed to go to their farms during the total lockdown the government has declared to prevent the spread of Corona Virus in the state, a statement said early Saturday.
The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 also exempted journalists on duty from the lockdown in line with global best practices during such emergencies.
“The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 hereby permits such farmers to do their job unhindered during the lockdown to the extent that they can identify themselves as legitimate farmers. Even then, they are not expected to violate any of the safety protocols in the course of doing so,” Rafiu Ajakaye, CPS to the Governor and spokesperson for the Technical Committee, said in the statement.
“The committee urges all the enforcement agencies to please grant free passage to such farmers after identification. It is also to be noted that previous waivers to manufacturing firms are still valid on the condition that they maintain social distancing and scale down their operations. Petrol stations, banks, and hospitals are also exempted from the lockdown on the condition that all safety protocols are adhered to.
“Similarly, journalists are essential workers and should be given right of passage. Presentation of their work place identity cards duly issued by their organisations shall be enough to let them move around to do their work unhindered. This privilege shall apply only to all the media houses operating in the state. While reporters are known to move in groups during developments like this, the committee urges them (reporters) to maintain social distancing and other safety protocols at this time.
“We want to emphasise that all health workers remain exempted from this lockdown. They should be granted free passage at all time once they present their workplace identity card.”
The statement said pharmaceutical stores are also exempted from the lockdown.
The committee meanwhile said it has so far received a total of N98,469, 880 donations from corporate organisations and private individuals in support of its COVID-19 exercise — many of which had earlier been acknowledged.
Latest donors included the Al-Hikmah University (N5m); Into-University Educational Consult (100,000); Prince Victor Kolade (Victor Signs) (N100,000); Peter Pelumi Bamidele (N1,000); Amolegbe Oluwadamilola Fatimah (10,000); Promakar Farms Nigeria Limited (10,000); Aiyelabegan B. Rasaq (N2,000); Inyang Victor (N100,000); Amasa Mukhtar Olaide (20,000); and Suleiman Sadiq Umar (N500,000).
“We commend everyone who has donated to this humanitarian cause whether in cash or in kind. We thank every indigene and resident of Kwara for staying the course. We assure them that we will definitely come out of this stronger and better together,” the statement added.