Sequel to the announcement on the re-opening of worship centres in Lagos State by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a Monitoring and Compliance Committee on COVID-19 Protocols for Worship Centres in Lagos State.
Speaking at the Committee meeting, the State Commissioner for Home Affairs Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi expressed the State Government’s satisfaction with the readiness of Religious Leaders, the Ministry and the Lagos State Safety Commission to observe the criteria on protocols for the re-opening of worship centres in the State.
He noted that the partial re-opening of Churches and Mosques is a pilot scheme that is predicated on the strict observance of protocols of monitoring, compliance and enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines by worship centres, adding that the monitoring of religious houses is a special project that must be approached with diligence and care to ensure compliance.
Elegushi implored the religious leaders to take ownership of the compliance directives by educating and enlightening their congregants to abide by the safety measures listed by the State Government.
In his words: ”The religious leaders must continue to educate their worshipers to comply with laid down protocols as a committee on monitoring and compliance consisting of representatives of the Muslim and Christian Religions, officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Lagos State Safety Commission, will monitor and enforce compliance in any worship centre at any point in time”.
The Commissioner explained that pending the full opening of worship centres, only Jumat lectures and prayers are permitted for the Muslims, while only Saturday and Sunday services, as the case may be, are allowed for Christians, stressing that all services must not exceed two hours and with not more than 50% of the worship centre capacity in attendance.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola disclosed that the State Government is in the process of organising a train-the-trainer programme on the observance of COVID-19 among other programmes, adding that a register of worshipers entering and exiting worship centres must be compiled for the purpose of contact tracing in case of any discovery of infected or affected people.
Mojola further disclosed that the monitoring committee is in partnership with the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA), the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force and other stakeholders to ensure compliance, stating that the exercise commences on Friday, 7th of August, 2020 with the monitoring of Jumat Services at some Mosques within the metropolis.