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Agbado Market, Lagos

Adebayo Obajemu

The Lagos State government is considering the full reopening of the critical sectors of its economy, following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who revealed this on Sunday, however, stated that the move would not be pushed in a hurry.

The governor disclosed that the government would launch an initiative soon, as part of the plans to enable it assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

He explained that officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) would be visiting restaurants, companies, and religious houses among others to assess their level of readiness.

Governor Sanwo-Olu admitted that with the size of the state’s economy and the number of businesses that operate in its domain, the government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently.

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,” he added.

The governor believes it is time for businesses to tune themselves to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to how their workspaces should look like.

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

“We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. If we see a 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,” he insisted.

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

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