The Governor of Lagos State , Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu , has said the state government is trying to get the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 to allow flights from Lagos to Abuja to operate, following the increasing impact of the closure of the airports on the state ’ s economy .
The governor lamented that the aviation industry , as well as the entertainment , hospitality and transportation sectors , had been “ significantly” affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federal Government on March 23 shut all international airports in the country before it later extended the closure to all airports in the country , banning all local and international flights .
Sanwo – Olu spoke as a panellist at a webinar hosted by FSDH Merchant Bank on Friday.
The webinar , titled , ‘ A global pandemic: local realities and peculiarities – a view from the frontlines ’ , was anchored by the Chairman , FSDH Holding Company , Mr Hakeem Belo – Osagie , and the bank ’ s Managing Director, Mrs Hamda Ambah .
Other panellists included the Governor of Kaduna State , Nasir el – Rufai ; his Edo State counterpart , Godwin Obaseki; Senior lecturer and consultant , Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr Alero Ann Roberts; Director , Centre for International Development , Harvard University, Prof Asim Ijaz Khwaja, and Assistant Professor , Harvard Business School, Dr Jaya Wen .
The governor said , “In terms of direct economy , I know that the entertainment industry has been affected badly . I know the hospitality industry has been affected greatly , especially as people could not go out. It affected those sectors badly .
Transportation business and the aviation sector have been affected significantly and these are large employers of labour .
We all know that Nollywood employs many people , so we are thinking through how to reset these economies very quickly but in a very gradual manner .
“ So , the aviation industry has been badly hit and just this (Friday ) morning, I spoke with a major player in that industry and we are trying to get the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 to see whether we are going to resume Lagos –Abuja flights before we get to other sectors .
There has to be some gradual process in lifting the lockdown .
“ We will continue to have engagements with all of the players down the value chain .
At the right time when we see that the t’ s have been crossed and the i ’ s have been dotted, we will do that and you can hold us to that . ”
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