Coronavirus: How Buhari's lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, Ogun will work (explainer)

Coronavirus: How Buhari's lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, Ogun will work (explainer)

On Sunday, March 29, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states for 14 days.

The lockdown which will take effect from 11pm on Monday, March 30, is to contain the Covid-19 spread in the country.

In the next few hours, the lockdown will be effective. However, many, particularly the residents of the affected states, are still not aware of how the lockdown will work or how it affects them. in this piece breaks down the presidential directive and explain how it will affect residents of the affected places and other Nigerians and anyone who may be planning to visit.

Coronavirus: How Buhari's lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, Ogun will work (explainer)

Explaining how Buhari's lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, Ogun will work. Photo credit: Bashir Ahmad
Source: Twitter

Lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT from Monday, March 30

As earlier noted, the places to be locked down include Lagos, Ogun and the FCT and the duration is 14 days, starting from 11pm on Monday, March 30.

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Complete stay at home order

If you live in the affected places, you must stay in your homes for the initial 14 days. You cannot go to work nor travel outside your state of residence.

Within this period, all businesses and offices in the affected places will be fully closed.

Also, residents of other states cannot travel to Lagos, Ogun and Abuja within this period. What this means is that if you are currently in the affected places and you want to go to travel to another place, you have till 11pm on Monday to do that.

If you are also a resident of the affected places and want to return home, you have till 11pm on Monday to do so, before you will be "locked out".

You cannot also fly in or out of the affected areas as movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, will be suspended.

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However, special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

Security agencies will enforce the lockdown

Don't fool around thinking the lockdown directive is just mere advice, President Buhari has stated that the heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed. This implies security agents will be fully on ground to enforce the lockdown.

Those who are exempted from the lockdown

As is expected, some workers who provide essential services are exempted from the lockdown. Want to know if the lockdown exemption applies to you? Let us find out.


If you work in hospitals or any related medical establishments, you are exempted from the lockdown. Being exempted from the lockdown means you are allowed to go to work, not to move around anyhow defying the directive.

Residents are also allowed to go to hospitals during this period when they have genuine reasons to do so.

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Food sellers

If you also work in food processing, distribution and retail companies, that is if you own a shop selling food items or you operate eateries and bakeries, you are exempted from the lockdown.

Fuel sellers

Wondering how you will get fuel during the lockdown, worry not as the directive exempted petroleum distribution and retail entities.

So, don't bother to panic buy petrol, the filling stations will be open for business.

Power workers

You will not also be in total darkness during the lockdown because power generation, transmission and distribution companies are exempted from the lockdown.

Private security

Security is very important at any time. So, your private security guards will be on duty as well because they are exempted from the lockdown.

Journalists/media practitioners

If you are a journalist or generally you work in telecommunication companies, print and electronic media staff, you are advised to work from home but exempted if you can prove why you cannot work from home.

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Seaports will be opened but screened.

Also, vehicles will be allowed to enter the affected states only if they are conveying food and other essential humanitarian items.

If you live in the satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja and you are afraid you may not be able to go out to access essential services, do not worry as President Buhari has said relief materials will be deployed to ease your pains.

Banks will open for skeletal operations

The minister of finance and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said they have secured approval from President Buhari to allow banks and other financial institutions to open for skeletal operations during the lockdown.

Note: The establishments exempted from the lockdown will also be monitored to ensure people are not taking undue advantage of the exemption. So, be warned.

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