There are strong indications that Lagos Government would soon embark on the ‘Register-to-Open Initiative’ toward gradual reopening of the economy in the state.
Nigeria has currently recorded 9,855 confirmed cases of the virus, 553 of which were recorded in the past 24 hours. Two hundred and seventy five deaths have also been recorded with 2,856 people discharged after recovering from the disease, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
On March 4, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the virus and extended the lockdown on May 4.
But Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, told journalists, yesterday, that the exercise was in compliance with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directives toward reopening of the economy, especially religious and social centres.
He said consultations were ongoing with all stakeholders in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
He noted that upon registration, a verification process would be carried out to ensure adequate space management was put in place across the various centres.
Mojola said the processes would also guarantee that social distancing, hygiene and safety measures were maintained across all religious and social centres.
“A committee has been set up by Governor Sanwo-Olu, headed by Commissioner for Special Duties and intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, consisting of other ministries including, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Home Affairs.
“The other ministries are Physical Planning and Urban Renewal, Economic Planning and Budget to ensure that the process of reopening was done effortlessly.
“The commission has met with various stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism sectors and will be engaging more stakeholders in the coming week on the best approach to the gradual reopening of the economy and registration of entities within the various sectors.
“The process is not tedious and time consuming, it takes into account all religious centres, event centres, gyms, night clubs, bars, lounges, spars, cinemas, restaurants, etc,” Mojola said.
However, Eze Samuel Ohiri, Chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers has told the Federal Government to extend the current lockdown as the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria soars to almost the 10,000.
Eze Ohiri said the lockdown extension was necessary to avert rapid spread of the deadly virus in rural communities. The monarch, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Tech Diagnostics Ltd., said the lockdown had isolated the deadly virus to only metropolitan areas.
“Any plan to relax the lockdown at this time is not advisable because it will trigger community transmission from the metropolitan areas to rural areas.
The Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SGON), Lagos State Chapter, has decried the increasing fatalities among frontline medical personnel in the war against COVID-19.
Dr Joseph Akinde, Chairman of the society, made the remarks while presenting some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and crates of malt drink to the Lagos State Government as part of the SGON’s contribution to efforts in fighting the pandemic.