By Moses Uwagbale
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has reported that he was considering full re-opening of the critical sectors of its economy after assessing the readiness of businesses to re-open.
Sanwo-Olu said after the State’s Security Council meeting, held at the State House, Marina, that the move to fully re-open the economy would not be pushed in a hurry.
He said that in the coming days, the state government would be rolling out “Register-to-Open” initiative as part of the plans that would enable it to assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.
The governor said that the officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) would be visiting restaurants, companies, religious houses to assess their level of readiness.
He said that with the size of the state’s economy and numbers of businesses that are operating in Lagos, the government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently.
“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 or any time; there has been 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,’’ the governor said.
He, however, cautioned that the plan to reopen the economy “should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not’’.
According to him, the state’s economy is not ready for that now.
According to him, government agencies also will be visiting places of worship to evaluate their level of preparedness ahead of full re-opening.
He said that social distancing and hygiene would be fully considered in determining whether mosques and churches can re-open in the future.
“We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen.
“If we see the 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 said.
He urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the state worked out modalities for full re-opening.