President Muhammadu Buhari, has yielded to the request by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), asking the federal government to exempt telecom workers from the Coronavirus lockdown because of the essential services they offer.
In a national broadcast on the Covid-19 Pandemic yesterday, the President, while announcing measures to be taken to avoid further spread of the virus, stated that though there will be a cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days starting from today, workers in telecommunication industry who offer essential services shall be exempted.
“Worker in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from work are to be exempted,” he announced in the broadcast long expected since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
He added that though these establishments are exempted, their access will still be restricted and monitored.
Other organisations exempted are those in the food processing, distribution and retail companies; petroleum distribution and retail entities; power generation, transmission and distribution companies. Private security companies are also exempted.
The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), had in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary requested that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to initiate the process of National Right of passage for all technical staff of telecommunications companies in the event of foreseeable lockdown by either the Federal Government or the State Government in an attempt to curb the spread of Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
ATCON believes that telecommunications infrastructures are essential in managing the entire Covid-19 situation and the need for maintenance and repairs that may arise during the possible lockdown.