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COVID-19: Lagos Plans Full Reopening of Economy Despite Rising Cases

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  • COVID-19: Lagos Plans Full Reopening of Economy Despite Rising Cases

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday said that Lagos State, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is planning to fully reopen critical sectors of the economy.

The governor, who spoke after the state security council meeting held at the State House in Marina, said Lagos State would be rolling out the Register-to-Open initiative as part of the plans to evaluate the degree of readiness of players in the critical sectors of the economy.

Sanwo-Olu explained that officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) will start visiting restaurants, companies, religious houses to assess their level of readiness.

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. 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. 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.”

The Governor added that officials would be visiting places of worship to assess their level of preparedness ahead of full reopening of the economy, saying social distancing and hygiene are some of the things that would be considered in determining whether religion house can fully reopen.

“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,” the Governor asserted.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.