Lagos May Fully Reopen Economy in Next Two Weeks—Governor

Lagos reopen economy

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Governor of Lagos State, Mr Banajide Sanwo-Olu has said his administration may decide to fully reopen the economy in the next two or three weeks.

However, he stressed that this would only be possible if the state government is satisfied with the level of compliance with the guidelines already put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus in the metropolis.

A few weeks ago, the government eased the lockdown in the state and put in place some rules, including the use of face masks in public places and social distancing.

Addressing the state on Sunday, Mr Sanwo-Olu said his administration does not intend to keep businesses and churches under locks and keys for long.

“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,” the Governor asserted.

He said to work towards this, in the coming days, the state government would be rolling out Register-to-Open initiative as part of the plans that would enable it assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

According to him, 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.

“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,” he said.

He further said, “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.

“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow 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.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the state works out modalities for full re-opening.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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