The presidency has said governors, VIPs, and other visitors to the Presidential Villa in Abuja will now be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test before they would be allowed into the seat of power, either to visit the President or for any other official purpose.
This became the new regulation for gaining access into the Villa as a result of the global spike in the rate of the virus infection, especially the Omicron variant, and the recent development in the Villa, which saw some officials and aides of the President testing positive for COVID-19.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said every visitor will be required at every visit to compulsorily take the test free of charge at the entrance gates of the Villa.
He, however, noted that some exceptions had been made for a few leaders coming from outside the country, even though such persons are still encouraged to still take the test for safety reasons.
“Yes, a new regime of COVID-19 regulation has been put in place for all visitors to the Villa, not for Governors alone.
“Every visitor to the Villa, not just those seeing the President, is now required to do a rapid test at the gate.
“The kits are freely issued, so no one is required to make payment. This is purely temporary because of the recent spike in cases and will be removed any moment the situation abates. It’s a growing practice in government offices in many countries.
“Although some exceptions have been made for a few leaders in government coming from outside the Villa, they too are encouraged to do those tests.
“This policy has rightfully been justified following the discovery of Covid positivity in some of those tested since the last few days of the practice,” Shehu explained.