The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in press briefing issued on Sunday, May 17, 2020, has revealed that there is a possibility for a full re-opening of the critical sectors in the economy. The Governor spoke at a briefing after the State’s Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina.
Speaking at the briefing, the governor stated that with the size of the State’s economy and numbers of businesses that operate in its domain, Government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently. Hence, officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) will be visiting restaurants, companies, religious houses to assess their level of readiness. Throwing more light to the consideration, Sanwolu 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 centers, entertainment, malls and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management”.
Speaking further, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu clarified “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 work spaces need to look like”.
This consideration by the State Government is coming barely two weeks after the relaxation of the Federal Government Total Lock-down in the state. While, most companies were affected, some organizations running services considered to be essential were excluded from the executive order.
“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow or any time; there has to 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.” Said Sanwo-Olu.
Also, the Governor revealed plans by its agencies to visit places of worship in other to assess their level of preparedness towards the full re-opening. According to Sanwo-Olu, Social distancing and hygiene would be a major consideration in determining the possibility of granting access full activities.
Speaking further, the Governor said “We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. If we see huge level of compliance, then it can happen in the next two to three weeks. If not, it could take a month or two months. It is until we are sure all of these players are ready to conform to our guidelines,” Sanwo-Olu urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the State works out modalities for full re-opening.