Sanwo-Olu Makes Wearing of Facemask Compulsory in Lagos


•Sets up special traffic enforcement team on Apapa gridlock

Ejiofor Alike

In line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations, 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, Lagos State Governor, Mr, Babjide Sanwo-Olu has made it mandatory for residents to wear face masks or face six months jail term.
This came on a day Sanwo-Olu announced the approval of N200 million to support the ongoing COVID-19 patient management and treatment efforts of two federal government Treatment Centres in the state.
The governor stated this yesterday while addressing State House Correspondents on COVID-19 update in the state at Lagos House, Marina.

This is coming as the governor has approved the constitution of a Special Traffic Management and Enforcement Compliance Team to resolve the traffic gridlock in and around Apapa.

Sanwo-Olu said: “The importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions cannot be overemphasised. All residents of Lagos State must continue to abide by the public health and safety regulations that have been issued by the health authorities, including the following: Wear a mask everywhere, ensure that you wash your re-usable mask regularly, and also properly dispose of used disposable masks, if you operate an office or business, insist on the wearing of masks before customers or clients can be granted access or rendered service.

“Follow social distancing guidelines, avoid mass gatherings or adhere to published guidelines for congregations, Practice regular hand and respiratory hygiene, if you feel any symptoms that correspond to the outlined symptoms of COVID-19, get tested.

“Testing is FREE for symptomatic patients in Lagos State, through the network of public testing facilities, if positive, self-isolate or report to any Isolation Centre and follow-up clinics.
“The State Government has observed with dismay the widespread flagrant disregard and non-adherence to guidelines and protocols aimed at stemming and curbing the tide of infection.

“We particularly note that some event centres have been operating their premises outside the acceptable parameters for operation/usage and continue to be recalcitrant in this regard. This is to sound a very serious note of warning that henceforth all those found culpable and in breach of the existing regulations and guidelines would be swiftly and decisively dealt with in full accordance with the provisions of the law.

“It is hereby directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space. A breach of the provisions of the Presidential Regulations attracts upon summary conviction, a fine or six months imprisonment and or both.

“Our enforcement agencies have been appropriately tasked to ensure maximum compliance. All Lagosians are enjoined to continue to observe all laid down guidelines and protocols issued by both the state and federal governments for the effective containment and treatment of the novel coronavirus disease.”
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has approved the constitution of a Special Traffic Management and Enforcement Compliance Team to resolve the traffic gridlock in and around Apapa.

The measure has become necessary following the resurgence of gridlock along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and environ.
Members of the team are Toyin Fayinka, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation; Mr. Olajide Oduyoye, General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA); Sola Giwa, Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the Governor on Central Business Districts, and Ayodeji Laurent, SSA to the Governor on Political Security Intelligence.

In a statement issued yesterday by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the state government explained that the team is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring zero tolerance of traffic offenders and a seamless traffic management system specifically designed to restore sanity in and around Apapa and create a cohesive system that would aid the resurgence of business activities and ensure that residents live in a conducive environment devoid of traffic-induced stress.

According to the governor, the area of coverage of the team’s operations include: Ikorodu Road to Oshodi – Mile 2 – Apapa, Ikorodu Road – Funsho Williams Avenue (Surulere) – Alaka – Iganmu – SIFAX – Ijora 7up – Apapa, Surulere – Alaka – Eko Bridge – Ijora Olopa – Ijora 7up – Apapa.

“With the development, it is expected that traffic within Apapa and its environs will be better managed by a team of dedicated LASTMA, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), police and intelligence service officers,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
Sanwo-Olu added that the policemen from Area ‘B’ Police Command will tentatively provide security back-up for the team, pending the announcement of the new security architecture by the state government.

Governor’s action followed his December 28, 2020 visit to Apapa and his pronouncement on the takeover of traffic management from the Presidential Task Team (PTT) on the decongestion of Apapa gridlock.
“The head of the new Special Traffic Management and Enforcement Team, Fayinka and other members of the team are expected to work with the designated team of the Inspector-General of Police and collaborate with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu and other members of law enforcement agencies in and around Apapa to ensure the success of the team’s assignment,” Sanwo-Olu stated.