Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said the state is ready to re-open its economy, with the rollout of a four-page ”Register-to-Open” guidelines.
Sanwo-Olu said this at a webinar by First Securities Discount House, FSDH, Group, where Sanwo-Olu was a panelist in the online discussion that also featured Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo, with about 1,200 people participating across the globe.
According to him, the four-page Register-to-Open guidelines were the major part of the measures initiated to achieve phased re-opening of the state economy.
He said: ”We initiated what we called Register-to-Open, which is a thorough guideline to help the residents ahead of the full re-opening.
”Some of the things we will be seeing in the four-page guideline is, how we want to manage space at various places of business and what numbers of personnel and clients we expect at a given period, which must be based on the sizes of the facilities.”
Speaking during the virtual conference, held with the theme: ”A Global Pandemic: Local Realities and Peculiarities – A View from the Frontlines,” the governor said his government was torn between balancing reactivation of economic activities and the continuation of the state’s response to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor added that the battle to stop the ravaging virus in Lagos had subjected the state to a delicate situation, and that it was a situation of having to manage hunger resulting from weeks of a slowdown in economic activities and also the movement of consumer goods to keep the economy afloat.
According to him, the government has offered incentives that will affect its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), in order to prevent job loss in critical industries that provide employment for a large number of people.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government remained committed to tackling COVID-19 and breaking the cycle of its transmission.
He also noted that there was a need to address hunger and job loss that could arise from the prolonged lockdown of the economy.
His words: ”We have been caught in a very delicate situation between managing COVID-19 on one hand and managing hunger and sustaining an economy that is not only dependent on commercial activities in Lagos alone but also other states across the federation.
”We have had weeks of engagement with players in the fast-moving consumer goods sector and part of the measures we are taking is that, we are giving them additional clearance to work for longer hours.
”As we prepare for this phased re-opening, we are giving priority to sectors that have higher number of labour.”
The governor, however, maintained that the re-opening would not be done in haste.