The Lagos State Safety Commission (LASG Safety) has announced it will suspend its planned safety audits of co-working spaces and tech hubs in Lagos, Nigeria.
Yesterday, tech publication Techpoint Africa broke the news that the LASG Safety—in conjunction with Acquicorn Projects Limited—would conduct safety audits of co-working spaces and technology hubs between September and November 2022.
According to letters of introduction sent to tech hubs, these audits would ensure that tech hubs comply with standards of practice by conducting risk assessments of their facilities and providing necessary recommendations.
The initial announcement included news that all coworking spaces and tech hubs would be required to pay an annual sum of ₦150,000 ($347) for the audits. The fee comprises a ₦50,000 ($115.92) documentation fee and ₦100,000($231.84) certification fee payable to LASG Safety’s account.
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The announcement of the annual fees was received with frustration and anger on social media where many accused the Lagos State government of overtaxing its booming tech ecosystem.
Hours after the story broke, LASG Safety announced the suspension of the audits and clarified its operations in a press release that was shared with TechCabal.
In a statement signed by DG Lanre Mojola, LASG Safety explains the purpose of the audit fees:
“The fee is statutorily associated with facilities that engage and welcome members of the public beyond a certain footfall in many businesses and civic sectors. This includes restaurants, cinemas, event spaces, schools, clubs, etc,” the statement reads. LASG further explains that the fee is set to cover the costs of “safety inspections and audits with experts and specialised equipment.”
The Safety Commission also announced that it would be suspending the planned audits in order to ensure adequate stakeholder engagements.
Editor’s Note: In its original coverage of the announcement, TechCabal erroneously stated the payable amount as ₦200,000 ($463). This has since been corrected to reflect the correct amount: ₦150,000 ($347).