What are Essential Services? COVID-19 restrictions

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO);

Section 2. Definitions.  “essential services” means services, by whomsoever rendered, and whether rendered to the Government or to any other person, the interruption of which would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population.


Essential services are necessary things that are critical to the health and safety of people. Examples of these are what we know to be the basic necessities of life – food, shelter, health,safety, amongst others.

So when the Federal Government of Nigeria (as seen with other governments of countries largely affected by COVID-19) issued a mandatory lock-down in certain states of the country to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all businesses were asked to be fully closed except essential services. which begs the question –

What are Essential services?

Essential Services are services which people cannot do without for long. We cannot live without food and water for long, we cannot ignore security otherwise chaos will be the order of the day.

See Full text to President Buhari’s broadcast on the shutdown.

Good health is also important which is why providing a cure or vaccine for the virus is top priority; also in this current times where the world has become smaller with the internet, Data is fast becoming an essential service.

As expected, one of the essential services mentioned was food processing, distribution and retail companies.

At this time, everyone who is on the demand end for essential services are looking to be on the supply side of it to keep income coming in even whilst in a lock-down.

While some are looking to the internet and education, some are looking more critically into the food and beverage business; A constant essential. This can be either through agriculture – direct farming, packaging, wholesale, redistribution, retail and logistics.

As one who has spent time in the FMCG distribution for big consumer brands like Nestle, Friesland Campina Wamco and Suntory, I have more details on business of redistribution; stay tuned for more on how everything aligns or affects the business of FMCG Distribution in Nigeria.

Ready to start your own Distribution or Sub-distribution of FMCG, here are a few resources to get you started…

2 thoughts on “What are Essential Services? COVID-19 restrictions

  1. Hello Tosan, thank you so much for this post. I so much love and appreciate it. I am eagerly staying tuned, waiting for you as you unfold how it all align as I get ready to join the train of sub distribution business.

    Kind regards


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