Ahead Of Reopening, Lagos Issues Provisional Safety Compliance Certificates To Social Centers

by Olamilekan Okeowo

As a precursory move to the reopening of event centers, bars and social clubs in the country after the lockdown and social distance period to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Lagos State Government has started the issuance of Provisional Safety Compliance Certificates to qualified centers.

In a statement by the Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC recently, the agency stated that it had commenced the issuance of compliance certificates to verified social centres and clubs across the state in a bid to fully reopen the state’s economy.

The statement issued by Adewumi Okoh, the spokesperson of the agency, said the exercise was ongoing, and more social clubs, bars, night clubs, betting shops, event centres and other businesses in the state will be assessed and certification issued.

“The Commission has started issuing Provisional Safety Compliance Certificates to social clubs that have registered and have had their locations verified. The Director-General, Lanre Mojola commended the level of compliance and readiness to open some of these clubs. He admonished them on the need to maintain social distancing and proper hygiene across these facilities” the statement said.

Mojola further disclosed that while a number of businesses in the state are complying with the register to open initiative, some are yet to comply.

He urged all social and event, betting centres, bars, night clubs, gaming arcades, casinos, and all the businesses captured under the Register to Open Initiative to do so in earnest to allow the verification process to take place.

He, however, sounded a note of warning to centres that have completed their registrations and have had their centres verified that they are not allowed to open until an announcement is made by Mr. Governor on the supposed open date for the different social centres.

He appealed that the only way to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic is through a collective effort with all Stakeholders.

Recall that the Lagos State Government recently had to clarify its position on reopening of event centres, explaining that owners of such places across the state must register their facilities pending issuance of further directives by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in respect of their operations.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, made the clarification following media reports that owners of event centres could now open for operations, while maintaining that all event centres and cinemas are to remain shut for now.

She explained that the State government is yet to make any declaration on the date for reopening the event centres, adding that the Governor will make a pronouncement provided that the event centres have met all laid down procedures, including registering under the ‘Register-To-Open’ initiative of the State Government.

She noted that the initiative was designed to certify the safety preparedness of various business outfits, including event centres, before they are allowed to re-open for business activities.

Speaking on the limited number of persons that would be allowed to gather at the various event centres, Akinbile-Yusuf projected that a maximum capacity of one-fifth the capacity of each event centre, subject to a limit of 500 persons regardless of the size of the Centre, would be allowed when such businesses are finally allowed to reopen.

In other words, no matter the size of an event hall, it cannot accommodate more than 500 persons at a time, that is what the guideline says.

She informed that the status quo of only take-away for restaurants and eateries remains, stressing that their operations must not contradict stipulated operational guidelines issued during the Statewide lockdown period.

“Only hotels and restaurants are allowed to open for business activities for now in the entire hospitality industry while others should continue with their registration processes ahead of further directives from the Incident Commander of the State”, the Commissioner had clarified.

Recall also that the safety commission opened up its portal for registration of religious centres and other businesses across the state on June 4 while urging all businesses to cooperate with the government by adhering to the safety guidelines.

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