The Ekiti state government has ordered religious centers to pay N5,000 each as COVID-19 fees before they are allowed to reopen mosques and churches on August 14 in the state.
Services at religious centers, including mosques and churches, have been suspended since March following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall that the state Commissioner for health, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said that the leaders of religious centers can not meet the conditions set for their re-opening by a new decision of the government.
Source gathered some Churches, in Ado – Ekiti, the state capital has been paid N5,000 each to the state government, but Churches in Ikere, the second largest city in the state have proposed to protest against the billing to resume worship centres.
The leadership of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had also said it had no capacity yet to comply with COVID-19 protocols stipulated as conditions for reopening by the government.
Yaqubu Sanni, a representative of the NSCIA, had in a statement; said mosques in the state could not meet the conditions set by the government, describing the time within to respond as too short.
The conditions include provisions of Covid-19 facilities like infra-red thermometers, sanitizers, face masks, hand washing facilities and maintenance of social distancing, among others.
The commissioner said: “The latest communique of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is indicative of the fact that worship centres are not yet ready to comply with conditions stipulated as guidelines set out by the government for reopening of worship centres.
“In view of the foregoing, the state government has shifted the date for the reopening of worship centres till August 14, 2020, to give the worship centres enough time to meet the prescribed conditions for the reopening.”
The commissioner said as much as fumigation of religious centres remained a prerequisite for reopening, such should not be done in contravention of the Ekiti State’s Environmental Health and Sanitation Law.
She said those within the ages of 1 -12 and those of 65 and above were also exempted from attending any congregational programme in any religious centre because of their vulnerability.
Mrs Yaya-Kolade further said: “The churches are only permitted to hold their programmes once in a week and should last for just two hours.”