The federal government says wearing of face mask is now mandatory for all Nigerians.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this on Thursday at the 31st joint national briefing of the taskforce in Abuja.
According to Mustapha, the use of face mask is not an option but a directive backed by a law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari and asked governors and security agencies to enforce compliance.
The SGF said, "There is a question that has to do with the usage of face masks, whether it is optional or not, no. The fact that we are persuasive does not mean that there is an option to it.
"It was part of the declaration that was signed by Mr. President. All the protocols that were predicted by the authority vested on Mr. President by the Quarantine Act. And once he attested his signature to that, it has the force of law.
"Our appeal is that this is a collective effort that each and every Nigerian should be responsible to himself and other Nigerians to wear a mask, not necessarily a medical mask.
"That is why we said mask or cloth covering so that our people would not be going to pick things from the dustbin and be hanging on their faces," Mustapha said.
According to him, even a handkerchief could serve the purpose, saying "it is not in any way an optional but a must."
He added, "And we are appealing to the security agencies and the state governments and sub-national entities that have the power of enforcement to do that.
"It is very important that we inculcate the culture of doing things to the overall benefits of all."