Sanwo-Olu addresses concerns of business leaders on coronavirus crisis in Lagos -


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Thursday, 16 April 2020

Sanwo-Olu addresses concerns of business leaders on coronavirus crisis in Lagos

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has sought the support of business leaders in the fight against the coronavirus [Twitter/@jidesanwoolu]
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured business leaders in the state that his government is doing its best to ensure businesses don't suffer too terribly from the effects of dealing with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Lagos is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria with 232 cases, 57% of the country's total - 407.

The state is halfway through a 28-day lockdown that has crippled social and economic activities, except for essential businesses.

In a virtual meeting with 28 managing directors and chief executive officers of organised businesses and companies in Nigeria on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Sanwo-Olu promised the Lagos State government is committed to fast-tracking economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 world.

The meeting was coordinated Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Dr Timothy Olawale, to discuss business challenges and support with the governor.

Some of the issues highlighted by the business leaders include the worsening security situation in the state and escalated civil disturbance trailing the lockdown; damaging effect of limited operations of banks on businesses; unprofessional conduct of security operatives enforcing the lockdown and its impact on business operations; free movement of essential goods especially across state lines, and provision of security for business organisations.

They also asked the governor if his government has specific stimulus and palliative packages in mind for businesses in the state, and the need to assist wholesalers take their products from warehouses in the closed markets to the retail outlets.

The CEOs also raised concerns with the effective distribution of donated foods and materials to vulnerable people in the state, and stressed the need to step up publicity of the 28 emergency markets set up in different schools as patronage has been low in those markets
Sanwo-Olu has assured business leaders that his government is committed towards easing the burden of the ongoing lockdown on Lagosians with palliatives that are far-reaching [Twitter/@Jidesanwoolu]
In his response, Sanwo-Olu said there has been an additional deployment and round-the-clock patrol of mobile police officers, as well as the military and paramilitary personnel in the state to curb expected spike in criminal activities. He also encouraged businesses to be more security conscious and take pro-active steps to protect their staff and properties.
The governor promised to speak to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to address the issues of charges on cash deposits and cheque clearing for businesses, especially during the lockdown period.

He said more access will be given to businesses as potential strategic relaxations of the lockdown are implemented.

Sanwo-Olu also assured the CEOs that the government has continued to implement effective distribution methods in ensuring the palliatives reach the most vulnerable people in the state to ease the burden the lockdown has imposed on Lagosians.

He also sought the support of the business community to help his government drive growth and development in the state especially during the current state of crisis.

He urged employers to, as much as possible, guarantee job security and ensure stability of prices.

The governor said his government has set up a Post-COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Agenda, and will invite organised businesses to a session within one month after the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss and review how to strengthen collaboration.

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