9th May, 2020
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Government, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday threatened to lockdown Lagos again if Lagosians continue to violate the social distancing order.
The governor expressed displeasure that some Lagosians, especially those in the transportation sector did not obey the social distancing order in totality.
The governor, while giving update on the Coronavirus situation in the state, said on the first day of this new phase of an eased lockdown, the compliance level for commercial transport sector operations was regrettably very low.
“Yellow Buses especially, failed to comply with the capacity restrictions outlined in our framework. While compliance has improved in subsequent days, it is still not encouraging. Many commercial motorcycle operators openly and indiscriminately defied the suspension.
“The ban on Inter-state travel except for essential goods and services was also consistently flouted. In many cases people decided to make the final leg of the journey into the State on foot, to beat the restrictions.
“Trucks and other vehicles carrying items designated as essential, have also played major roles in flouting the guidelines, by conspiring to conceal and smuggle people in and out of the State,” he said.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the reports about mask usage in public places had also not been encouraging as many people were still choosing to go out without masks or face coverings of any kind, saying this was simply unacceptable.
“Let me reiterate that the success of this gradual easing of the lockdown is dependent upon the compliance of each and every one of us.
“As a Government, elected to uphold the security of Lagos State – and this includes health security – let me make it clear that we will not hesitate to review the terms of this easing if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.
“I am aware that the Presidential Task Force has also made this point; that the continued maintenance of this easing is only guaranteed when people consistently comply.
“Let the numbers we have seen this week stand as a warning to all of you the good people of Lagos State. What we are seeing is child’s play compared to what we could be seeing if we continue to be irresponsible,” he warned.
However, Sanwo-Olu, said five days into this gradual easing, “we can look back and pronounce a verdict on the general levels of compliance in major sectors of our economy.
“Let me start with the encouraging news. We have seen our manufacturing and construction companies gradually ease back into operation. We are happy with the level of compliance in this sector, as well as the beneficial impact of this limited resumption on our economy.
“In the case of our intra-state commuting, and particularly with our BRT and LBSL Buses, and water transport operations, substantial compliance with the carriage policy of no more than 60 percent of maximum capacity was recorded. Markets and Mechanic Villages also demonstrated significant compliance.
“In terms of open markets and stores, our directive was that food and farm produce markets will open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while markets dealing in other items will open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We have seen high levels of compliance in this regard, as well as in the maintenance of physical distancing and the use of face masks in the markets,” he said.