By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Lagos State Government has disclosed that plans were been concluded for commencement of gradual unlocking of religious houses, restaurants, night clubs, cinemas among others that were put under lock in the state after outbreak of coronavirus, with first step toward the process been registration of entities through designated portals provided by the state.
On category of listed entities to be unlocking including social centers; event centers, restaurants, bars, spas and gyms, the state government said that registration might not be enough for reopening but that business owners and those in charge of religious places must meet state’s requirements before approval for reopening.
It would be recall that the state government had declared religious houses and gatherings from social activities to remain under indefinite suspension as parts of measure to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, stated that the state government had issued directives mandating religious houses and owners of specified businesses operating withing the state be registered and that the registration would be first step to be taken before reopening of the listed entities.
Speaking on Wednesday to The Guild on religious houses and others listed for compulsory registration before reopening, Mojola hinted that his agency’s mandate was to ensure that the listed entities considering to return to operation were register with the state and that announcement on time of resumption lies with the government.
He explained that the registration process was part of government efforts toward full reopening of the state economy and that the move was in line with the Register to Open initiative of the state.
He urged religious leaders and business owners to immediately proceed to the designated portal and that they should input their information appropriately in order to get needed approval for reopening and unlocking of centers.
We would not unlock immediately religious houses or business owners that register, they will still have to wait for go ahead from from the Lagos state government.
The registration is the first step towards reopening. They will register and wait for further instructions before the reopen. The government has not given a date for reopening yet. However this is the first step required.
Recently, the government met with companies, religious houses, owners of restaurants, and other stakeholders to discuss best approaches towards achieving a gradual reopening of the state economy after its sudden closure over the spread of coronavirus after the outbreak in the state.
During the meeting, the state government was said to had discovered the importance of the Register-to- Open Initiative, been a tool to determine level of complaint of companies, religious houses and other stakeholders ahead of economic reopening in the state.
However, Mojola implored Lagosians to support the state in controlling COVID-19 and that only through stakeholders’ collective efforts could the government arrest the situation.
According to him, we will be engaging stakeholders in the coming week on the best approach to the gradual reopening of the economy and registration of entities within the various sectors to assist the government in its drive to achieve safer Lagos.
The safety commission boss added that the registration process for entities in Lagos which takes into account all religious centers, event centers, gyms, night clubs, bars, lounges, spars, cinemas, restaurants, and others was not tedious and time-wasting.
He noted that upon registration, a verification process would be carried out to ensure adequate space management is put in place to guarantee that social distancing, hygiene, and safety measures are maintained.
While assuring stakeholders especially religious and social center owners that the dialogue was for Lagos development, Mojola hinted that the commission was in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to fast track process.