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Lagos govt. begins certification for social clubs, others reopening

By Idowu Abdullahi

As part of its measures to ensure coronavirus prevention guidelines are adhered to ahead of gradual unlocking of religious houses, restaurants, night clubs, cinemas among others, the Lagos State Government has commenced the physical verification and issuance of safety compliance certificates to social clubs and other centers across the state.

This is coming after the first step towards the reopening process, which is the registration of religious houses, restaurants, night clubs, cinemas among others, through designated portals provided by the state government are being concluded.

The Guild reports that the government had insisted that registration alone might not be enough for reopening but those business owners and those in charge of religious places must meet the state’s requirements before final approval for reopening.

It would be recalled that the state government had declared religious houses and other gatherings for social activities to remain under indefinite suspension as parts of measure to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Giving detailed explanation on the directives, the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, had clarified that registration would be the first step to being taken before reopening of the listed entities and that his agency’s mandate was to ensure that the listed entities considering to return to the operation were register with the state and that announcement on time of resumption lies with the government.

According to him, the registration process was part of government efforts towards full reopening of the state economy and that the move was in line with the Register to Open initiative of the state.

“We would not unlock immediately religious houses or business owners that register, they will still have to wait for the go-ahead from the Lagos state government.

“Registration is the first step towards reopening. They will register and wait for further instructions before the reopening. The government has not given a date for reopening yet. However, this is the first step required.” he had said during an interview with The Guild.

However, giving an update on the exercise towards safe reopening of the entities, Mojola said the government through the Safety Commission, has commenced physical verification and issuance of safety compliance certificates to social clubs and centers in the State.

The Director-General, who commended the level of compliance with stipulated safety guidelines by most of the clubs visited through a post on its social media page, added that it is pertinent for business owners in the state to cooperate and support the government’s efforts in flattening the curve of coronavirus in the state.

He clarified that the physical verification and inspection exercise was to ensure directives on physical distancing and proper hygiene, are fully embraced the entities preparing for reopening before issuance of compliance certificates.

“The Commission has started issuing provisional Safety Compliance Certificates to some social clubs that have registered and had their locations verified. Business owners who are yet to comply with the ‘Register-to-Open’ policy should do so to ensure the smooth gradual reopening of the economy.” he said.

Mojola, however, stressed that verification of centers by the commission who have completed their registration does not translate to reopening for such centers saying they are allowed to open until an announcement is made by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the effective date for opening social centers.

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