Ease Of Lockdown: Lagos State Governor Makes U-turn, Orders All Civil Servants To Stay At Home

*Lagos State governor, Mr. Sanwo-Olu

Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor on Sunday adjusted his earlier statewide broadcast on the gradual ease of the lockdown in the state to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. In his last broadcast, the governor had directed civil servants from grade level 13 and above to resume in their offices on Monday May 4, 2020. Aside Lagos, some workers in Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja are also supposed to resume work on Monday.

But the governor has made a U-turn and asked all workers in the state service to stay off duty until further notice. Sanwo-Olu explained that the delayed resumption of the State’s workforce is a deliberate attempt to prevent a development that may lead to crowding of people on the roads and public places. According to him, 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, he stated, the Accounting Officer of the Ministry must give clearance to such officer.

The Governor explained further, “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 8:00p.m. to 6:00a.m. 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.”

On market activities, the governor insisted that all markets would now open for three days weekly in alternation. Food markets across the State are to be opened only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Non-food markets, shall only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays within the stipulated hours. He said all traders must wear face mask and provide hand sanitizers in their markets. Going forward, he said it is now compulsory for any resident that must be in public places to face mask.

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