Coronavirus: Lalong slashes budget, shuts markets in Plateau

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong on Tuesday ordered the closure of all markets in the state.

In a state broadcast, Lalong also urged residents to brace for harsh economic realities as government’s recurrent expenditure other than salaries and pensions would be cut by 40 per cent.

He said, “This period is one that we must face with optimism, prayers, and above all, caution and pre-caution.

“With what we see around the world, especially in countries with higher standards of living, our best chance as a developing nation is prevention.

“Therefore, I strongly advise all our citizens and visitors coming to Plateau State who recently returned from overseas or know that they have had contact with any of the confirmed cases in the country to self-isolate for 14 days.

“In view of the crowds associated with markets, government is directing all markets to close effective March 25. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are to remain open.

“In addition, all street trading, hawking and begging are prohibited. The weekly Sunday markets at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru, and its environs are hereby banned.

“For the avoidance of doubt, recurrent expenditure other than salaries and pensions will be cut by 40 per cent; processes of fresh employment; implementation of the new minimum wage; funding of ongoing projects among others, will be affected in the interim. Similarly, all allowances of political office holders are hereby slashed by 50 per cent.”

The governor said his administration had remained proactive in responding to the pandemic and also liaising closely with the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to tackle the disease.


According to him, all the precautionary measures were aimed at safeguarding the possible occurrence of the disease in the State.

The governor advised all our citizens and visitors coming into Plateau State who recently returned from overseas or know that they have had contact with any of the confirmed cases in the country to self-isolate for 14 days.

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