The Lagos State Government has relaxed the public gathering regulation, increasing the permissible capacity from 20 to 50 persons at any given period.
The government have also directed the re-opening of social clubs with registered trustees and recreational centres with effect from August 14, but with the condition that they must obtain a provisional safety compliance certification from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC).
Nairametrics understands that these new measures were informed by the general decline in positive cases of COVID-19 in the state for a second week in a row.
The disclosure was made by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during his 17th briefing on the COVID-19 response by the state at State House, Marina Lagos on Saturday, August 1, 2020.
According to the Governor, restaurants in the state can now resume in-dining services from August 14, but at 50% occupancy capacity. More so, a safety clearance is expected to be obtained by these restaurants from the Safety Commission before resuming in-dining services.
Meanwhile, the governor ordered that night clubs, entertainment centres, and cinemas should remain closed till further notice.
The Governor further disclosed that this new decisions were taken after a careful review of emerging positive events. He also stressed that the decisions to relax the lockdown measures was to create a balance between competing demands of safeguarding lives of the residents and preserving their means of livelihoods. He said:
“Having carefully reviewed the current scenario in Lagos, we have taken some important decisions in line with the ongoing objective of calibrating an effective balance between the competing demands of safeguarding lives and enabling livelihoods.
“Restaurants will now be permitted to open for in-dining services, from August 14, on the condition that they maintain a 50% occupancy capacity. The restaurants must obtain a provisional safety compliance certificate through the LSSC registration portal. We are also increasing the permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50 persons. This applies to a wide range of events, from funerals, social events to corporate meetings.
“Social clubs and recreational centres will also be allowed to open from August 14, on the condition that they have applied for and obtained a Provisional safety compliance certificate via registration on the LSSC website. The clearance certificates are at this time being issued only to social clubs with registered trustees.”
The Governor also noted that all the mandatory prevention and control measures issued by the State Government must be strictly adhered to, including physical distancing, mandatory temperature checks, use of masks in public places, regular disinfection of premises, and strong personal hygiene.
He warned that social clubs that re-open without complying with the mandatory hygienic protocols and physical distancing requirements will be shut down and face the wrath of the law.
The Governor also added that in the coming days, the opening hours for food and non-food markets may be extended to 5 pm on their various opening days.
Sanwo-Olu revealed that the Lagos State Government patterned its response strategy after Mumbai, an Indian megacity that shares similar demographic and climatic conditions with Lagos. He also observed that Lagos had recorded similar results and successes with Mumbai in its COVID-19 response.
On the isolation centres, the Governor said, “We have run through a model that shows that we have built excess isolation capacity over the last five months. We have to come to a stage where we need to balance the economics of risk, as to which isolation facility should we need to keep running. Some of the isolation centres are having less than 20 per cent of their occupancy capacities. This is why we concluded to shut the Eti-Osa facility and another one in Lekki.’’
Sanwo-Olu urged compliance with the measures outlined in the new regulations, stressing that LSSC has a statutory responsibility to monitor the activities and operations of all organizations and worship centres that have been permitted to re-open.
Lagos cancels 2018 land use charge
The government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
The Lagos State Government has revoked the 2018 land use charge.
This was disclosed by the Lagos Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, on Wednesday. According to him, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.
“In 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners. In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the Land Use Charge law by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.
“The reform also considered multiple Land Use Charge payment channels and efficient customer service management by setting up a call centre in other to ensure prompt issue resolution.”
How to access CBN’s Health Research & Development grant
The Scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of MSMEDF.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the guideline for accessing the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) grant.
The grant, which is part of the apex bank’s policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
The guideline was published on the CBN’s website on Tuesday.
Why it matters: HSRDIS is designed to trigger intense national R&D activities to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines against the spread of COVID-19 and any other communicable or non-communicable diseases. This would be done through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes.
Who is eligible: Activities eligible for consideration under the Scheme shall include:
- Research and development of candidate drugs, herbal medicines, and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Manufacturing of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Red biotechnological R&D in new health technology for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- The research partnership between academia and industry into the development of drugs and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Research and development into validated phytomedicines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Important Notice: Candidate vaccines undergoing pre-clinical testing or trials shall not be eligible for consideration under this Scheme. However, candidate vaccines 4 Classified as Confidential undergoing clinical testing or trials shall be eligible for consideration under the Scheme if considered to have high potential to cross the clinical trial stage and prospects of scale by the Body of Experts (BoE).
Who funds the grant: The Scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).
- Research activities: Maximum of N50.0 million.
- Development/Manufacturing activities: Maximum of N500.0 million.
NOTE: Disbursement under the Scheme shall be made to beneficiaries in tranches, subject to approved milestones achieved.
Research and Development Timeframe
- research activities: Not more than two (2) years from the date of release of fund.
- Development/Manufacturing activities: Not more than one (1) year from the date of release of fund.
Read the full guidelines here.
Nigerian firms expect to start employing again in August – CBN survey
Wholesale/retail trade had the highest prospect for employment in August.
After a trying five months of the Coronavirus pandemic and the consequent challenges for the economy, business enterprises in Nigeria expect to start employing again in the month of August 2020.
This is according to the CBN Business Expectation Survey which was published recently on the CBN website.
Findings from the survey show a generally optimistic outlook for August with a confidence index of 33.7 points, and hopes that the volume of business activities would increase in the next 2 to 6 months to justify the employment outlook.
The business survey was conducted by the statistics department of the Central Bank of Nigeria in July 2020, and it involved a sample of 1050 businesses with a 96% response rate. Respondent firms include small, medium and large businesses cut across agriculture, services, manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, and construction sectors, both import and export-oriented, across the country.
Sector by sector breakdown showed that wholesale/retail trade had the highest prospect for employment in August with an index of 16.4 points, while manufacturing trailed closely behind with 14.6 points. Respondent firms in Agric/services put the employment prospect index at 3.1 points.
The wholesale/retail trade sector is also highly optimistic on expansion plans, showing an index of 46.3 points, while the construction sector had an index of 45.0 points. Agric/services sector had an index of 43.4 and manufacturing sector had 39.7 points all pointing towards a positive disposition to expand in the current month (August).
With such expansion plans in view, borrowing rate is also expected to increase in August, September, and December 2020 with confidence indices of 10.5, 15.7 and 16.1 points respectively.
This is in spite of the obvious challenges which the firms face, which include insufficient power supply, competition, unfavourable economic climate, financial problems, and high-interest rates.
Unclear economic laws, unfavourable political climate, insufficient demand, difficulties in accessing credit and equipment also pose major constraints to business activities.
More on the outlooks
On the exchange rate, firms are positive that the Naira will appreciate in August, September, and December, with 3.0, 16.5 and 49.4 confidence index points respectively. Meanwhile, inflation level is expected to rise in the next 6 to 12 months (December 2020 and June 2021), at 13.92 and 13.95 percent.
There is an anticipated increase in economic conditions in August at 22.8 points, much higher than the 9.5 points in July. The firms also expect things to improve more in September and December with confidence of 31.7 and 51.4 points.