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COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu Rules Out Another Lockdown In Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, expressed satisfaction with the compliance to safety guidelines put in place by the state government to check the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

Lagos begins the second phase of the gradual relaxation of the COVID-19 on Monday.

The governor, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos, said there was no reason to re-impose any lockdown in the state in the interest of the economy.

He said the state government was considering full reopening of the critical sectors of the economy but would not be pushed in a hurry.

Sanwo-Olu said the government, in the coming days, would roll out the Register-to-Open initiative as part of measures to assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

According to him, the officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) will be visiting restaurants, companies and religious houses to assess their level of readiness for full re-opening of the state for socio-economic activities.

He said: “We are at a level where we are reviewing the other arms of the economy. In the coming days, we will be starting what we call Register-to-Open, which means all players in the restaurant business, event centres, entertainment, malls, and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management.

“There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move. We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their workspaces need to look like.

“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow (Monday) or any time; there has be a process guiding the re-opening. We will be mandating LASEPA and Safety Commission to begin the enumeration process and the agencies will be communicating with all relevant businesses and houses in the days ahead.

“I must, however, caution that this should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not. The state’s economy is not ready for that now.”

Sanwo-Olu said the government agencies would also visit places of worship to evaluate their level of preparedness ahead of full re-opening.

He stressed that social distancing and hygiene would be fully considered in determining whether mosques and churches can re-open in the future.

The governor urged businesses, religious houses, and residents to maintain the status quo while the state works out modalities for full re-opening of activities.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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