The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has reversed its position after shutting down a warehouse belonging to e-commerce company, Jumia.
The agency erroneously believed the company didn’t fall under the category of organisations permitted to operate during the lockdown, a belief which prompted the agency to seal the company’s warehouse in Ikeja.
According to LASEPA, unsealing the warehouse became expedient after it established that Jumia was indeed a provider of essential services.
Having established it 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.LASEPA
The lockdown is part of the FG’s efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. As per the directive, the lockdown is for an initial period of 14 days, after which the lockdown measure will be reviewed.
The only businesses that can continue operations with staff reporting to work stations are hospitals, electricity generating, transmission and distribution companies, fuel distributors and retailers and food processing distribution and retailing businesses.
Most businesses have paused operations in the country, with companies like Uber temporarily shutting down altogether. Other companies have resorted to working from home.
However, companies like Jumia who make revenue by delivering packages from the platform to people cannot work from home, hence the continued operation.
Reports have it that the Lagos state agencies were tipped off by informants that the e-commerce company was still running operations.
Two of the State’s agencies, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA) and Lagos State Safety Commission carried out the lockdown of the warehouse.
Jumia recently announced that it would bring its network of logistics operations to help Nigerian and African governments to distribute health supplies and other items in the fight against the pandemic.
However, with the lockdown seeming to affect the logistics operation of the company in Nigeria, it puts a bit of a damper on Jumia’s proposition.
In the US however, Amazon has had to hire an additional 100,000 staff to meet the upsurge of demand for supplies by the citizens.
This has helped people at home to get needed supplies easily without having to go out and mingle in the States. It remains to be seen if Jumia will be allowed to continue operations unabated.
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