DIRECTOR, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate, Charles Nwoji, has described market traders’ non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols, as a source of worry when he observed that greater percentage of the traders, motorcycle operators, commercial tricycle and bus drivers at Oye-Uga Market, in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, do not adhere to the compulsory COVID-19 preventive control measures, especially the use of face masks and the social distancing as directed by the Nigerian Government.
The NOA Director disclosed this while on a sensitization programme, organised by the agency at the market as part of its statewide advocacy and sensitisation campaign on Increased Risk Communication and Community Engagement on COVID-19 pandemic.
He advised the traders in the market to strive towards observing the COVID-19 procotols as stipulated and directed by the government, stating that the coronavirus pandemic is still waxing very strong all over the world without identified medications yet.
While reminding the traders that wearing of face masks and maintaining of social distancing have remained compulsory as a law, and that defaulters are liable to pay a fine of N10,000 or face community labour or both, he told the people that their lives are very important to their individual families and Nigerian Government at large.
The Deputy Director, Programmes, NOA, Sir Joesph Uchendu, noted that majority of Nigerians were yet to understand the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s lives and the world economy, warning the traders to shun any act that might lead them to contracting the disease.
Also, the Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officer (COMO) of NOA , in charge of Aguata Local Government Area, Mrs Ifeoma Umeh, frowned at the poor attitude of the traders towards the use of face masks, noting that Anambra State Government would not hesitate to close any market found guilty of disobeying the COVID -19 protocols, especially the use of face masks.
The NOA Director, Nwoji and his team on arrival, paid a courtesy call on the leadership of Oye-Uga Market where the Chairman, Mr Williams Emediego, represented by the Chairman, COVID-19 Taskforce of the market, Mr Emeka Ekwueme, said that the programme would no doubt enable the people to be well informed on the pandemic and its negative effects, assuring that they would do their bit to ensure that the messages of the event would get to the grassroots.