COVID-19 LockDown: Lagos Seals Establishments Across the State for Non-Compliance
The Lagos State COVID-19 Taskforce mandated by the state government to enforce compliance with the lockdown order, sealed-off several establishments on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
With the Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA) and Lagos State Safety Commission implementing the mandate, companies like Jumia, SPN Packaging, and Supreme Brothel among others had their establishments sealed for violating the two-week “stay-at-home” directive.
Lanre Mojola the Director-General of Lagos State Safety Commission, revealed that the enforcement was carried out through a tip-off received by some individuals. These observers reported that some firms directed their workers to resume duties despite the lockdown announced by the Federal and State governments.
“Chinese nationals and their Nigerian workers were inside the SPN factory while production was ongoing, contrary to an earlier claim that the premises was empty. They were immediately directed to stop production before the company was eventually sealed,” Mojola disclosed. The DG, therefore, reiterated that the non-compliance of some organizations was unpatriotic, noting that the essence of the directive was to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos.
Similarly, at the Supreme Brothel, Lagos state authorities chased no fewer than 60 sex workers and their clients of the hotel before sealing off the premises. Mojola warned residents of the area to abstain from patronizing such crowded locations to prevent the spread of diseases.
One of the warehouses belonging to Africa’s largest online marketing store-Jumia was also sealed-off by the Lagos State government during the raid. However, after establishing that its activity and line of production was classified as an ‘essential supplier’ contained in the Infectious Disease Regulation signed by the Lagos state Governor, the Jumia warehouse was re-opened.
In light of the COVID-19 anxiety, several people have turned to e-commerce companies as they practice social distancing to help with supplying some of their needs. Online shops across Africa in nations like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria revealed that they are experiencing a boost in their online sales and slight increases in demand which has been attributed to COVID-19 fears.
Additionally, global e-commerce companies like Amazon announced plans earlier last month to hire over 100,000 employees due to increased order for supplies since the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. As people have been directed to stay at home, it is certain that their demand for delivery will be high. More people are scared of making trips to the market, so they completely rely on online shops to provide them with basic items.
This is why it may be logical to allow online shops in Nigeria like Jumia to operate irrespective of the lockdown. The e-commerce firm has initiated new programs and awarded discount rates in Nigeria that assists locals in making multiple purchases of essential supplies during the imposed lockdown.
Meanwhile, Dolapo Fasawe the General Manager of LASEPA has warned businesses in the state to adhere to the executive order given by President Muhammadu Buhari as “there will be no hidden place for defaulters.”