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Residents Cheer As Wike Inspects Flyover Bridge Project

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Hundreds of Port Harcourt residents, yesterday, celebrated Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as he inspected the ongoing construction of Rebisi Flyover Bridge (former Garrison).
The Rebisi Flyover Bridge is one of the three iconic bridges under construction by the Wike-led administration to ease traffic congestion and facilitate business activities in the state.
Wike expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work, thanking the workers for their commitment to delivering the project on schedule.
The governor, who trekked all through the length of the Rebisi Flyover Bridge, interacted with the workers on site.
He also took out time to talk with residents who trooped out to sing his praises for promoting the development of Port Harcourt.
The inspection visit to the Rebisi Flyover Bridge revealed that the contractors have finished the preliminary works, while works have been concluded on the substructure of the flyover bridges.
It was also discovered that the piers and abutments have been completed, alongside the foundations.
The super-structures of the flyover bridges, especially the main pillars, are now in place with Port Harcourt residents appreciating the quality of work by the contractors.
Earlier in January, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike personally met with traders and residents to seek their support for the timely completion of the flyover bridges.
Wike said that though the exercise was painful, all residents must contribute to ensure the flyover bridges are delivered.
“I am here to personally appeal to the people because I feel their pain. But this is a sacrifice everyone must make for the state to move forward.
“To do three flyover bridges the same time is not an easy task. Therefore, we must work hard to achieve the target. The target is that Julius Berger must hand over the three flyover bridges on February 20, 2021,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government had, last October, flagged off construction work on three flyover projects at Rumuogba (Artillery Junction), Rumuokoro Roundabout (Okoro-nu-odu), and Rebisi (Garrison Junction) at a total cost of N21billion.
While flagging off the projects, the governor also directed the contractor handling the three projects, Julius Berger, to deliver the flyover bridges within 16 months in line with agreed timeline, and according to specifications.

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NAFDAC Alerts On Fake Chloroquine 250mg Tablets

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), yesterday, alerted Nigerians on the circulation of falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets.
In a statement the Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said the NAFDAC was notified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the circulation of the tablets in Cameroon.
“The falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets were manufactured by Jiangsu Pharmaceutical Inc, Astral Pharmaceutical, New Bhupalpura, China.
“The tablets manufactured by these companies has no Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and are in packs of 1000 tablets.
“The use of the falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets may result in treatment failure and could even cause death,” she warned.
She also said that the labelling information on the falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets manufactured by Jiangsu Pharmaceutical Inc, China is labelled with fake NAFDAC No.: 028060.
“The Astral Pharmaceuticals, New Bhupalpura, China is labelled with fake NAFDAC registration No. 0587612 and advised the general public to be aware of this drug.
“All importers, wholesalers and retailers are hereby cautioned to desist from illegal importation, distribution and sale of falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets.
“NAFDAC has strengthened its surveillance in all ports of entry to prevent illegal importation of the falsified Chloroquine phosphate 250mg tablets.
“The agency has also heightened surveillance in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to prevent distribution and sale of this falsified drug.
“Healthcare providers and other members of public are advised to be vigilant and contact the nearest NAFDAC office with any information on the falsified Chloroquine,” she said.
She called on anybody in possession of the falsified Chloroquine to submit it to the nearest NAFDAC office, and advised the consumer to report adverse events related with the use of the medicine, or call the agency toll free lines: 0800-1-NAFDAC and 0800-1-623322.

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Buhari Orders Distribution Of 150 Trucks Of Seized Rice To Masses

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered distribution of 150 trucks of rice seized by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the 36 states of the Federation.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at a news conference in Abuja, yesterday.
The news conference was on the fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock.
Ahmed said the seized trucks of rice had been handed over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for onward distributions to Nigerians.
She added that in addition to this, the president had also approved distribution of grains from strategic grain reserves across the country.
The minister stated that as part of the effort to support the farmers, the president also approved reduction of the price of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000 per bag.
She added that this was another measure to give subsidy to farmers in view with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, more measures will be taken to provide broader benefits to the citizens.
“We don’t want to rush and announce measures that will end up benefitting only a few of the segments. Our interest is to make sure that as much as possible a lot of Nigerians are productive and have liquidity in their hands.
“This will help to increase the consumption thereby assist to improve the economy.
“This is not something we will announce in a hurry without consulting with the central ministry and also without consulting with the key participants in the sector,” she added.
The minister noted that the emerging health and economic risks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and decline in international oil prices posed existential threats to Nigeria’s economy, healthcare system, national security, as well as the lives of the citizens.
She emphasised that extra-ordinary measures would be required, as the situation evolved, to address these challenges.

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Despite NMA, TUC’s Resistance, FG Insists On Chinese Doctors

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An 18-member strong team of Chinese medical experts will be arriving soon with “globally scarce supplies” to support Nigeria’s fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This is coming days after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) rejected the invitation by the Federal Government of a Chinese medical team to help Nigeria in its Coronavirus response.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this, yesterday in Abuja, at the Presidential Task Force (PTF), briefing on COVID-19 in the country.
“On Friday, April 3, I announced that a team of Chinese medical experts will arrive. They are expected to arrive Nigeria in a few days with a consignment of globally scarce medical supplies, to augment government efforts and build capacity to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The donation by Chinese Companies in Nigeria, includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical consumables, over one million surgical masks for health workers and even ICU ventilators, valued at over $100,000, all sourced in the face of global scarcity of these items.
“In addition, Chinese medical experts, comprising doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and public health managers will share their knowledge, skills and real-life experience of fighting COVID-19 with Nigerian personnel to strengthening management of COVID-19 cases, especially with regard to critical care,” he said.
Ehanire said that this initiative would greatly build the capacity of hard-working and resourceful Nigerian Healthcare workers at the forefront of fighting COVID-19.
“The much needed PPEs and masks will protect our frontline workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the line of duty.
“We have a window of opportunity to strengthen our own response mechanism through lessons learned from any country that has had the experience and can provide hands-on demonstration of dealing with the outbreak and give the Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity to share global best practices,” he explained.
The minister disclosed that the government has also identified additional treatment centres.
“We are working with the African Union to develop a continental response.
“A Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 response has been developed and an African Task Force on Coronavirus (AFCOR) set up to coordinate preparedness and response efforts in the continent,” he noted.
He explained that since the last briefing, they have activated two additional laboratories for COVID-19 testing at the Defence Reference Laboratory, FCT and Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory Lagos.
The minister disclosed that in the coming month, they intend to expand further to more laboratories with capacity to test for COVID-19.
Earlier, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, said that the lockdown was not punitive.
“It is meant to prevent the escalation of the virus spread. We will review the lockdown by the end of the week and make recommendations to the President,” he said.
Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that last week, the United Nation Secretary-General singled out Nigeria for commendation for it efforts in restricting the virus.
He said that one major support that has attracted public commentaries was the offer by CCECC.
Mustapha noted that CCECC is a Chinese company that would be importing about 256 equipment and items in different quantities.
According to him, these include 1, 300,000 medical masks, over 150, 000 pieces of assorted personal protective equipment as well as 50 medical ventilators.
The SGF said that the company had also proposed to sponsor public health experts to help strengthen the Nigerian public health capacity and advice on processes and procedures.
He clarified that all countries of the world seek for and received help in the fight against COVID-19.
“The support coming from China is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by CCECC, a company with total value of infrastructure contracts worth $10billion in Nigeria.
“The professionals that have been invited from China are public health specialists and medical engineers that will support Nigeria’s capacity in managing the pandemic on advisory basis when necessary, while drawing from the experience of the Chinese.
“In no way shall there be case management and interface with patients.

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