The Lagos State Government has denied claims that it plans to impose fines ranging from N20,000 to N500,000 on any religious organisation or individual that violates existing 12:00am to 4:00am curfew in the state.
There is currently a curfew implemented by the federal government as part of measures to curb the increase of COVID-19 in the country which surely affects planned annual cross-over services organised by many Christian denominations.
Though some governors have banned cross-over services in their states as a way to contain the second wave of the virus and reduce the numbers of daily cases reported in the country.
Cross- Over services are conducted annually by churches on December 31 to mark the end of the year and usher in a new one. Due to the pandemic and curfew in place, most churches have adjusted the way this year cross-over night will be conducted, with some either changing the time or going virtual to conduct their services.
However, reports circulated yesterday claim that the Lagos state government had imposed some fines on violators of the curfew but the commissioner for information and strategy in a statement denied this report.
He said, “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to an online news item quoting the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, as saying fines ranging between N20,000 and N500,000 will be imposed on violators of the Federal Government curfew on December 31, 2020. This is inaccurate and misleading.
“The government is advising residents to comply with COVID-19 protocols because the cases are rising. The role of religious organisations in fighting the pandemic is well noted.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria has issued a statement on how Churches should conduct their watch-night services.
“The Sanwo-Olu administration has maintained a harmonious relationship with religious organisations and has confidence in the ability of their leaders to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols amid the clamour for crossover services.