The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has countered a directive of the Ministry of Environment, asking business owners to pay N95,000 for premises decontamination against the spread of COVID-19.
The state had earlier highlighted the fumigation of workspaces as one of the prevention measures when it ordered businesses to resume on June 1.
Meanwhile, the Ministry disclosed the new directive in a letter sent to some organisations in the state. It said the disinfection became necessary to achieve a well-sanitized environment for healthy living.
The letter seen by POLITICS NIGERIA was dated 10th of June.
“While the state government has carried out the disinfection exercise in most public places, owners of private properties and organizations have been directed to likewise do the same for their properties, particularly for properties being used for commercial or industrial purposes where members of the public patronize,” the letter read.
The accredited fumigators, according to the letter, have been deployed to affected properties across Ogun, to ensure uniformity.
The breakdown of the sum includes a Service charge of N80,000 and Certification fee of N15,000.
The letter further stated those ready for the exercise should pay the charges into a private bank account, Sekbol & Sons Nig. Enterprises with Gateway Mortgage Bank.
This has however generated controversies as some termed the directive an attempt by the state government to make financial gains.
However, Governor Abiodun, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said there are no accredited fumigators in the state.
“As a responsible Administration, the fumigation or decontamination requirement was a public health-focused initiative and never intended as a plank for revenue generation by government or a preserve of select service providers.”
“This directive therefore clarifies and indeed supersedes any information that may have been erroneously disseminated to the public by the State Ministry of Environment. For emphasis, there are no government accredited decontamination service providers,” the Governor was quoted as saying on Thursday evening.
He added that company or business owners are at liberty to engage any competent service provider of its choice for fumigation or decontamination, “provided that the exercise is done in accordance with the standards that ensure the environment is free of COVID-19 and other pathogens that are inimical to human health and safety.”
Mr Abiodun also emphasised that the battle against COVID-19 can only be won if all the stakeholders play their roles, reiterating the government’s commitment of providing required leadership and guidelines, the industry placing a premium on the health and safety of their workers.