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Nine Northern States Close Schools …Lagos, Ogun Ban Religious Gatherings, Night Clubs, Private Schools Shut …NYSC Shuts Orientation Camps Over Fear Of Spread

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The nine states in Northern Nigeria have agreed to suspend schools for the next 30 days as a measure against the deadly COVID-19.
The states include Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina, Kwara and Niger, respectively.
According to a source, these governors are currently holding a meeting to discuss other important things affecting their states and country at large.
The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was reported to have confirmed the suspension of schools in these states.
As part of measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Lagos State Government has banned all religious gathering of over 50 people within the state.
Similarly, all private schools in Lagos State have been shut until further notice.
According to a statement, yesterday, the decision was arrived at after a meeting of the Lagos State Government with religious bodies in the state, which included the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Muslim leaders.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said the meeting agreed that “all large religious gathering of over 50 people should be suspended immediately”.
He said the suspension would last for four weeks with a necessary review carried out if need be.
He added that a committee had been set up to monitor the enforcement of the suspension to ensure that both Muslims and Christians in the state abide by the decision.
The 15-member committee comprises representatives of Muslims and Christians in the state.
The commissioner also said the meeting agreed that the state government should embark on massive sensitisation of people at the grassroots on the need to embrace proper hygiene.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, had earlier at a briefing said the advice to put religious gathering on hold in the interest of the public.
The Chairman of CAN, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, said, “We are at a critical moment in Nigeria, since we heard this, we have been praying. We have listened carefully to one another, particularly the government. The responsibility of every government is to protect the lives of the people.
“We must be proactive and take preventive measures. It is no longer the issue of religion but survival. We are going to accelerate the education of our people. We must listen to the instruction of the government and take the instruction seriously. We agree with the action of the government.”
In Ogun, the state government has banned social clubs, halls, cinemas, night clubs, restaurants, cafes, and sports arenas described as high-density gatherings of people.
The government said any gathering that brings either 50 or more people together has been banned for 30 days as part of precautions on the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
The governor stated this through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, yesterday.
He further said, “The safety of our people and their welfare are priorities that cannot be toyed with.
“Further to measures so far taken to ramp up its efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the Ogun State Government has found it expedient to announce the following additional measures:
“Immediate ban of all high-density gatherings that would bring together 50 or more persons in the same place, such as social clubs, halls, cinemas, night clubs, restaurants, cafes, and sports arenas.
“This measure will be in effect for the next 30 days in the first instance.
“The government will continue the surveillance initiatives and intensify sensitization on COVID-19. This is more so given the peculiarity of its location as the Nation’s Gateway State and its industrial capital.
“Our epidemiologists and other health workers are working round the clock with Federal agencies and international development agencies to stop the spread of Coronavirus.”

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Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate

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Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.

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Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”

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Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.

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