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Lagos issues fresh guidelines, set to reopen economy

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

* 3-month moratorium for MSMEs on LSETF loan facilities ─Governor Sanwo-Olu

* Relates how state battles to manage hunger resulting from weeks of lockdown

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Considering a number of significant socio-economic factors in the state economy following the recent lockdown relaxation, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has set in motion the process of reopening its economy with register-to-open guidelines.

ConsumerConnect reports that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State in a webinar organised by First Securities Discount House (FSDH) Group, titled: “A Global Pandemic: Local Realities and Peculiarities – A View from the Frontlines”, declared that the state government daily battles the reality of balancing reactivation of economic activities and the continuation of the state’s response to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In four-page register-to-open guidelines, the governor stated that the battle to stop the ravaging virus in the ‘Centre of Excellence’ had exposed the state to a delicate situation of having to manage hunger as a result of weeks of slowdown in economic activities as well as movement of consumer goods to keep the economy afloat.

According to him, the four-page register-to-open guidelines constitute the major part of the measures initiated to achieve phased reopening of the state economy.

He said at the forum that government had offered incentives that would affect its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in order to prevent job loss in critical industries that provide employment for a large number of labour.

The webinar had about 1, 200 people who participated from across the globe.

The state government remained committed to tackling COVID-19 and breaking the cycle of its transmission, but added that there was need to address hunger and job loss that could arise from prolonged lockdown of the economy.

He maintained that the re-opening would not be done in haste, but that said construction and manufacturing sectors would be accorded high priority for full re-opening, given the large number of employment they generate.

Entertainment, hospitality and aviation industries would be considered in the second phase of intervention, he said.

Sanwo-Olu said the weeks of inertia in the economy also had significant impact on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), stressing that millions of small-scale businesses operating in the State could completely fold up if the economy is not fully reactivated.

In addition to granting three-month moratorium to MSMEs that applied for loan facilities at the Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF), Sanwo-Olu said the state government had started to compile data of registered MSMEs in the state for operational support that would cushion the effect of economic slowdown on their businesses.

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