Press Release

Extension of the Lockdown in Lagos, Ogun & FCT plus embracing Social Distancing nationwide

14 April 2020

Press Release 03

Lagos, Nigeria.


The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank* endorses President Mohammad Buhari’s extension of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT and his important guidance on the urgent need for the entire nation to embrace Social Distancing to an extent feasible.

It is our submission that each State, LGA and Community has to “localise” its own Lockdown and/or Social Distancing strategies, in relation to its unique circumstances and peculiarities; one size cannot fit all on this subject.

Amongst other supportive measures, critical attention must be given to providing an enhanced safety net for the poor; beyond what the Federal Government (FG) itself has offered. Certainly, our understanding is that FG is not stopping other tiers of Government, the Private sector, NGOs etc. from doing more for the poor and needy; for there is a risk in having the latter become increasingly marginalised or uncooperative at this time on account of hunger and other unmet basic needs. The Police (and not the Army) should also be on guard to nip the risk of looting and violence in the bud because it is the right thing to do.

We should also aim to ensure that the entire populace has at least two washable masks each, which they should wear when outside of their homes.

In addition, although we commend the current efforts made in dispersing general messaging about hygiene, hand washing and sanitising, we propose that these should be increased using a range of media channels, including radio jingles, TV advertisements, posters, social media, newspapers etc.

Furthermore, while isolated in communities, people can be put to productive work – i.e. distributing health and safety information, sewing masks, gowns etc. and supporting farming and the transportation and distribution of food and other essential needs. Other industries can be repurposed to support this – for example, we can repurpose the whole Events Management industry. Clearly huge events with hundreds of guests must remain a thing of the past. Those skills can be re-orientated towards current needs; one of these key needs already mentioned above, is to help the rich cater for the poor and marginalised during this period.

We all understand that a 100% Lockdown is not feasible in Sub-Saharan Africa, because, in any case there will be a trade-off between the severity of a lockdown and its sustainability. A low hanging fruit is the restriction of mass congregations of people e.g. religious and social gatherings which correctly continue to be prohibited in almost all 36 States of the Federation; also, movement in and out of Nigeria should continue to be restricted, subject to occasional permits that should be applied for and granted by the authorities on a case by case basis. Beyond these, communities must develop their own peculiar modalities for sustaining a Lockdown, with a view to allowing all key productive activities geared towards short term COVID-19 mitigation and medium- to long-term economic survival. 


Abubakar Siddique Mohammed




Atedo N. A. Peterside CON     



*The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank was established on 22 March, 2020, to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and has 18 members drawn from across the six geopolitical zones and the diaspora (Germany & USA). 

For more information on the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank, please visit

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