Lagos Govt Eases Lockdown On Event Centres

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The Lagos State Government has directed that event centres in the hospitality and tourism industry can now re-open for business only if they have met the necessary requirements of its newly introduced Register-to-Open initiative.

This is coming after the state government explained that the initiative was meant to certify the safety preparedness of the establishments before they are allowed to re-open for business activities.

Speaking during a live Instagram session tagged “Ensuring Effective Health Safety and Environment Management System in Hospitality Industry- Post COVID-19”, which was hosted by the founder, Pholard Events, Shade Kolade- Ogunpitan, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who was the guest speaker, explained that event centres are free to re-open for business provided they have been given the nod to do so while adding that event planners are also expected to partner event owners and ensure that the venues have met the requirements.

Responding to speculations relating to whether the number of persons allowed would exceed 20 persons, Akinbile-Yusuf, explained that at-most one-fifth of the capacity of the centre should house not more than 500 persons.

‘This depends on the size of the event hall, if it is going to one-fifth of the normal occupancy level of each venue, then that is fine but no matter how big the event hall, it cannot occupy more than 500 people at a time, that is what the guideline says. This is not about 20 individuals in a building now, what we are saying is that one can have at-most one-fifth of the capacity of the hall. If you have a large event hall that can accommodate as many as 5,000, the maximum one cannot exceed is more than 500 at a time,’ she said.

According to her, ‘we have global guidelines that deal with both social and religious centres but we have specific ones for certain categories.’

The commissioner further dismissed the assertions of double taxation on the hotel owners, explaining that the position of the state government was in the interest of the practitioners and safety of the citizens.

She said ‘it has come to the knowledge of the ministry, the fear being expressed by some practitioners in the hospitality and tourism sectors of the economy on possible double taxation as a result of the “Register-To-Open” directive of the state government, through the Lagos State Safety Commission.
The ministry hereby affirms that the ‘Register-To-Open’ order is compulsory for all hospitality and tourism sector operators in Lagos State for re-opening purposes to fill and submit.’

Akinbile-Yusuf revealed that the government did not attach any payment to the process, stressing that the entire process is free and does not impose any multiple taxes on the practitioners while noting that the registration affects all businesses operating in the state,

Furthermore, the commissioner maintained that the registration is purely for health, safety, planning and data purposes.

Affirming that the government will not unnecessarily inflict any hardship on the owners of businesses in the state, Akinbile-Yusuf called on the practitioners to support the efforts to bring sanity to the industry by ensuring social distancing, use of face masks and washing of hands with liquid soaps and sanitisers are observed.

She, therefore, urged all stakeholders to visit the registration portal www.lasgsafetyreg.com and provide the required information or contact the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture at Alausa, Ikeja, in case of further clarification.

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