Monday, 4 May 2020

As 5 Weeks Lockdown Eases Today:Markets Can't Open Daily..Sanwoolu Tells Lagosians

The five-week lockdown imposed by the Federal Government on Lagos State and two other states to combat Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) will be eased on Monday (tomorrow), but Lagos State Government has asked all its civil servants not to resume for work immediately.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a briefing on Sunday at the State House in Marina, said the delayed resumption of the State’s workforce is a deliberate attempt to prevent a development that may lead to a crowding of people on the roads and public places.

Only emergency workers and those on essential duties will be allowed to work on Monday, the Governor said.

Sanwo-Olu said the State’s civil service offices would be re-opened for business on Tuesday, but only officers from Grade Level 15 and above would be required to be in the office. If any junior-ranked officer must be at work, the Governor said the Accounting Officer of the Ministry must give clearance to the officer.

Sanwo-Olu said: “In amending the work guidelines earlier issued, which stopped members of the public service from Grade Level 1 to 12 from going to work; we have had to review this position and we are extending the directive to all civil servants, regardless of level. All civil servants must stay away from work on Monday.

“On Tuesday, only officers from Grade Level 15 and above have express permission to come to work. All other essential officers that may need to be at work will be informed by the Accounting Officer of each Ministry as may be required.

“From Monday on, there will be curfew from 8pm to 6am and all movement within these hours are prohibited, except for people on essential services, which are agro-products, petroleum products, relief materials and food supplies.

“We want to use this as a demonstration of our commitment to gradual easing of the lockdown. We do not want people to rush out tomorrow and see the easing of the lockdown as an attempt to believe that the spread of the pandemic is all over.”

As part of the moves by the State Government to prevent crowding in public places, the Governor directed all markets to open for three days weekly in alternation. Food markets across the State are to be opened only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm.

Non-food markets, Sanwo-Olu directed, shall only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays within the stipulated hours. He said all traders must put on face mask and provide hand sanitizers in their markets.

It is compulsory for any resident that must be in public places to face mask, the Governor said.

Also, banks and other private firms must open businesses with 60 per cent of staff strength, while also operating within the hours of 9am and 3pm. The Governor enjoined the privately-owned companies and manufacturing firms to arrange for the transportation of their essential staff that would be at work.

Gov. Sanwo-Olu, however, extended the operating hours for eateries and restaurants from 9am to 7pm, due to Ramadan fasting. But the Governor said restaurants and eateries must not allow their customers to eat-in. Food must be served food only take-away packs and delivery, Sanwo-Olu directed.

All regulations initiated by the State Government must be strictly adhered to by public and private companies and members of the public, the Governor warned.

He urged members of the public to report any erring company to the Government through the State’s whistleblowing policy. Sanwo-Olu gave out three hotlines through the which whistleblowers can report those flouting the State’s guidelines. The numbers are: 09010513197, 09010513198, 09010513199.

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