• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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FCTA plans 40 selling points to decongest markets


The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is to establish an initial 40 units of neighbourhood selling points, using either public schools or green areas across the various districts in the nation’s capital to decongest markets in line with the Covid-19 protocol on physical distance.

The FCT Administration also extended business hours for markets in the Territory to now run from 8 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The extension which takes effect from Saturday, being the next market day, is against the earlier approved time of 10 am to 2 pm.

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FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello gave these directives during a review meeting of the FCT Administration’s Covid-19 pandemic response strategy.

Bello urged Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) to liaise with the FCT Area Councils to ensure full implementation of all Covid-19 pandemic protocols with regards to the markets across all the nooks and crannies of the FCT.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, AMML Managing Director,  Abubakar Faruk said the Minister also directed the decongestion of the existing markets through the establishment of neighbourhood selling points in the various districts within the Federal Capital City.

Faruk explained that the concept of neighbourhood selling points is aimed at taking pressure off the existing markets in the FCT through the provision of an initial 40 units.

He said this will further enhance the attainment of social distancing among residents which is a key requirement for eventual winning of the battle against the dreaded virus.

“In order to ensure a quick setup of the Neighbourhood Selling Points, therefore, the Minister further directed relevant FCTA Secretariats, Departments and Agencies to support AMML to actualize this mandate.

“Even ahead of the take-off of the Neighbourhood Selling Points, the Hon. Minister insisted that all users of markets in the FCT must use a face mask and also observe social distancing.

“To this end, he mandated the Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Limited Abubakar Usman Faruk to ensure that existing selling points for food items within the markets are decentralized immediately to achieve social distancing, even as he encouraged the markets managers to continue to sensitize the market’s users on other hand and respiratory hygiene.

The FCT minister urged residents to support the intent of the lockdown by patronising markets in their neighbourhoods and ordered the law enforcement agencies to clamp down on residents who hide under the window of market days to flout Government directives, according to Faruk.