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LASEPA reverses self, unseals Jumia warehouse

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Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency inspect Jumia warehouse March 31, 2020. – Deserted streets and almost deafening silence: Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, which is usually seething, woke up Tuesday morning under confinement, at a time when Africa is intensifying its efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Benson IBEABUCHI / AFP)

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) yesterday reopened Jumia’s warehouse situated at Surulere industrial road, off Allen, Ikeja, which was sealed on Wednesday for contravening the lockdown order by the Federal government in the state.

Putting up the update on its Twitter handle @LasepaInfo, the agency said the warehouse was opened “having established that Jumia can be classified as an ‘Essential supplier’ as contained in the Infectious Disease Regulation signed by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the 27th March 2020.”

The initial sealing of the popular online retail store had elicited condemnation from social media users, who lamented why the Jumia outlet should be closed down at a time Lagos residents have been asked to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

But less than 24 hours after, LASEPA reversed its decision. Other firms sealed by the agency on Wednesday include SPN Packaging Studio Press Nigeria Plc on Plot B, Israel Adebajo Close, Ikeja and Supreme Hotel in Agege. The action followed a tip-off that the firms’ directed their workers to resume duties despite the stay at home order announced by the president.

At SPN Packaging Studio Press Nigeria Plc, the enforcement team ordered the Chinese and some Nigerians out of the factory before sealing the company, while at Supreme Hotel, no fewer than 60 sex workers and their clients were chased out of the hotel.

General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, noted that the safety of the workers are premium to the government and warned owners of industrial facilities to desist from locking their staff and holding the keys. She urged Lagosians to abide by the safety directive of stay at home to control the spread of the pandemic.


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