Lagos Orders Markets To Open On Selective Dates Over COVID-19

The Lagos State Government has issued new guidelines for the reopening of markets and shopping malls in the state as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic following Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s announcement of the gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos from Monday.

The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Alausa, Ikeja, reiterated that all markets and stores in the various local councils/local council development areas across the metropolis would be allowed to open from 9:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. on selected days.

He emphasised that everyone attending these markets and stores would be mandated to observe precautionary measures such as physical distancing and high levels of personal and respiratory hygiene.

In a statement yesterday, Ahmed declared that malls would also be allowed to open with the proviso that stores will maintain a 60 per cent occupancy capacity at any point in time, while also ensuring that a two-metre physical distancing is maintained between a shopper and the next person in the store.

The commissioner maintained that food handlers must also wear face-masks and hand-gloves in markets at all times, directing that shop owners must provide hand sanitisers and wash hands with soap and running water at all entry points, conduct temperature checks on customers and ensure that nobody is exempted from the process.

Ahmed disclosed that stakeholders at a meeting attended by the Iyaloja/President, General Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo and other major market leaders in the state, unanimously agreed that effective from Monday, May 4, 2020, food sellers and other ware traders should operate on alternate days in all markets across the state, saying: “In essence, those trading in other items and wares apart from food will only be allowed to trade on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while all food and farm produce sellers will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.”

Meanwhile, in readiness for the 2020 rains, which is expected to commence soon and its attendant floods, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and its key stakeholders from relevant industries, have kick-started the flood preparedness plans.

In a statement, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Okey-Osanyintolu, said to generate adequate and effective mitigation plans against flooding this year with its prediction of high rainfalls, LASEMA had further employed technology to determine the land area of the local councils at high risk of flood.

Okey-Osanyintolu further stated that Lagos State’s re-activeness against flooding was predicated on the agency’s hazard vulnerability analysis, which empirical results determined its vulnerability to flooding in most parts of the state while the vulnerability risk assessment of flood on every part of the state, as a fundamental process in mitigating against flood disaster, helped the agency to provide accurate early warning.