Lagos — The Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, passed into law a bill empowering security agencies to arrest residents, who flout directives aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The lawmakers passed the bill at their plenary.
The bill, titled: 'A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes', also empowered Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least N20 billion to combat the pandemic in the state.
The Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to the governor for his assent.
The bill reads: "The Bill empowers the Governor to incur the kick-off expenditure sum of N20 billion to combat and stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
"The Governor in combating the Coronavirus pandemic shall declare a state of emergency in the State to protect the people of the State from the pandemic.
"The Bill calls for a Trust Fund named Coronavirus Pandemic Trust Fund with a board to manage this, but supervised by the Executive. The Trust fund shall consist of funds and material donations from individuals, private and public organizations.
"As from the commencement of this law, only essential services such as food supply, pharmacy, shops, water supply, petrol filling Stations and other relevant agencies shall be in full operations unless the Governor declares otherwise.
"All security agencies in the state including the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency shall effectively ensure that the policy directives of the Governor are implemented and enforced.
"Where there is a violation of a close-down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close-down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.
"Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one-month imprisonment or three months Community service."
Sanwo-Olu sets up food markets in schools
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture has set up food markets in some selected schools as it embarked on social distancing in the effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.
This was sequel to Governor Sanwo-Olu's directive that some school premises will be used as temporary markets as part of measures to stop the virus.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, noted that the markets were set up to provide residents access to food supplies during the restriction period to prevent panic buying after the directive that all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities be closed.
Lawal outlined the Local Governments where the food and agricultural markets would be set up to include: Mushin, Alimosho, Surulere, Ikeja, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Eti-Osa, Surulere and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Governments.
Major markets on lockdown
Also, major markets in Lagos State, yesterday, complied with the state government's directive to shut down following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vanguard gathered that the popular Computer Village and Ladipo market were under lock and key as police were on patrol to enforce total compliance by marketers.
Govt disinfects public places
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has taken delivery of more disinfectant equipment as part of its efforts to combat the Coronavirus in the State.
Chairman of Primero, Mr. Fola Tinubu and the General Manager (Operations), Mr. Segun Anako, said the measure became necessary to compliment the state government's effort in combating the pandemic.
Anako said the company is aware of the safety concerns of all Nigerians regarding the virus and has taken steps to ensure that "we reduce the spread as much as possible."