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Coronavirus: Reps Recommend Flights’ Suspension From Risk Countries

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to halt all flights from high-risk countries to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) at yesterday’s plenary in Abuja.
Moving the motion earlier, Onofiok said that the seriousness of Coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation branded a global epidemic, had so far affected almost 200,000 persons worldwide and killed over 7,000 in over 60 nations.
“The very far-reaching efforts of governments all over the world including nations such as Ghana and South Africa, where gatherings of more than 50 persons have been prohibited.
“Social distancing of at least 3 feet apart is encouraged, widespread use of sanitisers recommended, and citizens encouraged to stay indoors with some cities and nations on total lockdown.
“In fact workers are encouraged to work from home while students are encouraged to study online,” he said.
Onofiok said that the Ministry of Aviation and security agencies should immediately halt all flights from high-risk countries especially the UK, Spain, Italy, the U.S., China and South Korea.
He, however, said that for Nigerians who would come into the country should be tested on arrival and may be quarantined.
Onofiok called for the suspension of the National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Edo.
The lawmaker said that the house appreciated the place and importance of sports in national development, harmony and unity.
He said that the sports festival had numerous ways of identifying new talents, building sports infrastructure, promoting friendships and preparing athletes for international competitions.
Onofiok appreciated the Edo State Government for spending substantial public funds on publicity, rehabilitation and upgrading of sporting facilities to welcome other athletes.
He said that virtually all sporting activities in the world such as Tennis, Judo, London Marathon, Formula 1, The U.S. Masters, football competitions among others have been put on hold.
The green chambers recommended that any other activities with a large gathering in the interest of the nation’s health and wellbeing should be called off till further notice.
The house urged all health agencies to work with governments at all levels to upgrade facilities and remain at alert.
Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the relevant committees to ensure compliance.

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Gov Emmanuel Shuts Borders, Suspends Ibom Air

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has ordered the closure of all borders and roads leading to the state with immediate effect.
The governor also directed that Ibom Air suspends all flight operations with effect from Sunday, March 29.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo, yesterday.
Emmanuel was quoted as directing that workers in the state should stop work with effect from Monday, March 30 for one week. “Following a critical analysis of the situation relating to COVID-19 situation, I have been directed by His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel to make the following announcements:
“Salaries of state government workers for the month of March will be paid on or before Friday, March 27, 2020.
“Workers are advised to prepare to stop going to work and stay at home for one week with effect from Monday, March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced. March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced.
“All borders and roads leading in and out of the state are closed with immediate effect; except for transportation of food items. Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from Sunday, March 29, 2020.
“Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only,” Emmanuel said.
The governor appealed to all Churches in the state to fast t situation. and pray on Sunday, March 29 for God’s intervention in the present situation.
He added that while the one week stay at home order would be on, government would continue to monitor the situation and provide update on the coronavirus in the state.
“While the one week stay-at-home order subsists, the Akwa Ibom State government will continue to monitor and provide regular updates on any development in the COVID-19 situation in our state,” he said.

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Partisan Politics: Awuse Wants Civil Servants Isolated

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Elder statesman and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Sergeant Awuse, has said civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics in order to achieve maximum productivity.
Chief Awuse stated this in his remarks at the public presentation of the book, ‘A Handbook on Discipline of Civil Servants in Nigeria’ written by the State Head of Service (HOS), Rufus Godwins in Port Harcourt, recently.
“He stated, “By 1971/72 when we finished our secondary school, I was in Ministry of Establishment. The Permanent Secretary that they had then, if I may say, was a position that many people wanted to have. They were secure. I will want the writer in subsequent review to consider the importance of career civil servants and not political permanent secretaries.
“The reason is simple. Loyalty is always the ingredient for their appointment. But those days, permanent secretaries were judged by their ability to deliver, their ability to perform and they were more secured. I know you may not include that in your book now for obvious reasons.
“But in future, when you are reviewing, please make sure you mention that area. But remember, in every sector today, the politicians are also very important.
“The important thing is that future civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics. They should be allowed to function and use their brains. They should be allowed to do the job, irrespective of which party is in government,” he stated, noting that it was difficult to get the best out of the civil service with frequent rotation.
“Some of them are afraid to function properly because they know that the words that are used that ‘I am directed’. If you are not directed properly you are on your way out,” the elder statesman noted.

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Lagos Assembly Lifts Suspension On Four Lawmakers

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, reinstated four of its members earlier suspended indefinitely over alleged misconduct and insubordination.
The Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, made the announcement during the plenary in Lagos.
The House, had on March 9, passed a resolution sacking two of its principal officers and suspending two members indefinitely for alleged misconduct, insubordination and action that could destabilise the House.
The speaker announced the punitive measures following the voice votes by members present during the plenary.
He said the principal officers that were removed included the Chief Whip, Mr Rotimi Abiru and Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh.
The speaker also announced the suspension of Mr Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland Constituency II) and Mr Kazeem Raheem Adewale (Ibeji Lekki Constituency II).
The offices of the four lawmakers in the House were subsequently locked by the Speaker on March 10.
Obasa said on Thursday during plenary, that the House decided to lift their suspension following the intervention by the Governor’s Advisory Council and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The Governor’s Advisory Council and the National leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have intervened in the crisis and directed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.

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