The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) announced a lockdown in the FCT Abuja, Lagos state and Ogun state in other to curtail the spread of the novel Corona virus. This was followed by interstate restriction in several states of the Federation, all aimed at the same goal. This policy was however very laudable and necessary, because at that time only a few states have the dreaded disease. The aim was to ensure that the disease does not spread to other states of the federation; so that it could be managed and eliminated from the few states where there were confirmed cases.
This policy however did not achieve the desired objective because in spite of the restrictions, almost all the states of the federation got infiltrated by this disease. The spread of this disease could be blamed to the law enforcement agencies who failed to execute the order to the latter. People and goods continued to pass through the states, the only thing that mattered was whether you have the money to pay for your passage.
The effect of this was an increase in the prices of goods and services as commuters who spent so much in transporting their goods to their destinations had to recover all their expense, thereby bringing more pain and suffering to the ordinary Nigerians in the form of inflation.
Government need to revisit this policy, going by the statistics of 19/6/2020 about 35 states of the federation including the FCT have reasonable number of confirmed cases. This implies that isolating one state from the other is not necessary anymore. Rather what should be in place is social distancing that is individual isolation, personal hygiene and use of face masks.
The continued use of Interstate restrictions amounts to putting more illegitimate money on the hand of law enforcement agents and inflicting more pain on ordinary Nigerians. Since control of inflation is the goal of most responsible government, it is therefore necessary for government to relax this policy which is skyrocketing inflationary figures. One would not doubt the fact that in spite of the restrictions on Interstate movement, one can still go to any part of the country he chooses to go, if he has the money. Government should therefore relax this aspect of the restriction and allow people to move freely, so as to reduce the suffering of the people.
The variation in the number of reported cases does not in anyway show non existence of the disease in those states, but rather is a reflection of the number of tested cases. It should therefore not be considered as a factor for the continuation of the interstate movement restrictions.
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