Sanwo-Olu orders partial closure of banks

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Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, placed a partial closure on banking activities in the state as part of measures to break the cycle of transmission of coronavirus.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also directed all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close for seven days.

The directive takes effect from Thursday, March 26, a statement from the Lagos State Government added.

Sanwo-Olu advised the organised private sector to take drastic steps as done by the government in the public sector and allow non-essential workers to work from home.

The governor also asked banks and other financial institutions to prioritise online channels for their services to the public, adding that only essential and key senior staff should be allowed to work in the office during the restriction period.

In a televised briefing after State’s Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina, Sanwo-Olu said the restriction measures were necessary, given the rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos.

He said the directive should not be seen as a lockdown on business activities in the State.

He said the guidelines would be reviewed after seven days.

He said, “It is only when you are alive that you can talk about economics and finance. We want to encourage the organised private sector to allow their workers to work from home.

“Banks and other financial institutions are encouraged to prioritise online channels for their services to the public with only essential key staff being in the office during this time. Only key staff should be present.

“We are a subset of a sovereign. We are not a sovereign. This is why we cannot completely lock down Lagos. We need to be considerate.”

Other public places shut by the government include markets, parks, playgrounds, and recreational centres within the state, regardless of ownership.

The directives, the Governor said, did not affect pharmacy shops and all markets where foodstuffs are traded.

“Eateries and restaurants must not accept eat-in customers; they are to serve food in takeaway packages.

“As much as possible, let us all refrain from inter-state travelling of any kind until the worst of the crisis is behind us,” he said.

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