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Lagos Govt. opens offices for operations after lockdown

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Weeks after shutting down operations to prevent civil servants in Lagos State from contracting coronavirus, the Government has ordered that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies be opened for activities and that staff resumes for work with effect from Monday, 4th May 2020.

It also issued a new protocol to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, directing that the accounting department engages in need assessment exercise and draw up a Flexible Work Roster, centered on Physical Distancing Principle, for officers on Grade Levels 13 and above, to ascertain staff that would be required on duty for smooth operations and those whose services would not require.

The State Government directives were contained in a circular issued by the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, with reference number CIR/HOS/’20/Vol.1/046, in Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, where it was stated that the approval to commence operations was issued by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives on the gradual easing of lockdown imposed on Lagos State to flatten coronavirus curve.

In the circular issued on Thursday evening, Directors of Administration and Human Resource were instructed to ensure that the entire office environment is disinfected and kept clean always before and after the resumption of staff.

“Further to the nationwide broadcast of His Excellency, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lagos State and the gradual easing of existing lockdown in the State, it is hereby notified for general information that Mr. Governor has approved the re-opening of all Offices in the Secretariat, Alausa as well as other Government Establishments State-wide with effect from Monday, 4th May 2020”.

Listing some of the new protocols, the circular stated that officers on Grade Levels 12 and below must continue working from home, unless otherwise directed by their Accounting Officers, with the exception of Frontline Responders and other essential Health Workers, irrespective of Grade, as well as Enforcement Agencies.

“In addition, the State Government through the Ministry of Science & Technology will put in place necessary Digital Infrastructure to facilitate effective work-from-home that would enable Officers to deliver on their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)”.

According to the circular, sanitisers, as well as washable and reusable facemasks, must be distributed to Officers who are required to wear them in the office and all Public spaces while hand gloves and protective gear should be provided for cleaners and that non-usage of the items will attract strict penalties by the government.

While advising officers in need of medical assistance to do so via consultation through telephone or online in order to minimize and eliminate visits to the Staff Clinic and Hospitals, it further implored all sick persons to stay away from the office.

The circular maintained that all public servants must abide by the 8 p.m to 6 a.m curfew pronounced by Mr. Governor, pointing out that the Secretariat and other Government Establishments would remain shut to members of the public and non-staff who are advised to conduct their affairs through other channels such as telephone, emails and online platforms.

It also encouraged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to ensure adequate personal hygiene by providing liquid soap with running water at all entrances and in toilets for regular and thorough washing of hands.

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