Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has charged Government Recognised Traditional Rulers to set up Task Force in the respective communities to enforce the closure of markets, hotels and beer parlours across the State.
Addressing Government Recognised Traditional Rulers at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike said the shutdown is necessary to slowdown the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “Set up your own Task Force in your respective domains and implement the closure of markets, hotels and beer parlours.
“This Task Force is strictly for COVID-19. The State Government will support all Traditional Rulers to carry out these responsibilities”.
Governor Wike appealed to the Traditional Rulers to work with his administration to check the transmission of coronavirus.
The Governor also called on Council Chairmen to ensure that they support the Traditional Rulers to deliver on the directive.
The Rivers State Governor regretted that the Federal Government has started playing double standards with the issue of relocation of Almajiris.
He said: “When they started relocating the Almajiris in the north, the Federal Government said nothing. Immediately they heard that we have relocated some almajiris, they came up with the declaration that it is against the inter-state movement. Why this double standard?”
Governor Wike noted that his administration has continued to work on the state’s borders to ensure that they remain closed. He charged Local Government Chairmen to take more stringent measures to stop the influx of persons.
The Governor warned that from Thursday any shop that opens in Obio/Akpor or Port Harcourt Local Government Area, the building would be demolished.
On the closure of markets, Governor Wike said that the State Food Purchasing Committee headed by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government will purchase all the foodstuffs and distribute them to the people.
“We will buy off all the foods in the markets and distribute to our people. All you need is to liaise with the office of the Secretary to the Rivers State Government and we will buy and distribute. No Market should be open anywhere in the state,” he said.
Commenting on the compulsory use of face masks, Governor Wike said that he will use politicians and Traditional Rulers as examples.
“I want to use politicians and Traditional Rulers as examples if they fail to wear face masks in their cars. If you are not wearing face masks in your cars, you will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Governor Wike advised Rivers people not to wait for the support of Federal Government, but concentrate on the strategies to reduce the spread of the virus.
He said that anywhere a market continues to operate in the state, the Traditional Ruler will lose his recognition.
“Go home and tell your people, anywhere I see a market operating, the Traditional Ruler will lose his recognition.
“We must check people entering our State and don’t wait for the support of the Federal Government. Lets work to reduce the number.
“As the hotels remain closed, those coming in will have nowhere to stay. When we are safe, we can enjoy what we can. I am not doing this because I hate anyone, but it is for the protection of our people.
No human being will see death and embrace it. We cannot kill ourselves. The only solution is ensure Social Distancing and proper hygiene”.
Responding, Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja thanked the Rivers State Governor for involving the Traditional Rulers in the fight against coronavirus.
He assured the Rivers State Governor that the Traditional Rulers will live up to his expectations by carrying out the State Government’s directive.
King Jaja thanked Governor Wike for his Palliatives to all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State.
RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics
The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.
By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun
FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.
Over 20 Countries Arrive Abuja For 2022 INAC
The 2022 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), themed “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, was, yesterday, declared open in Abuja, by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
The 15th edition of the Expo holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotels & Towers has in attendance no fewer than 25 countries and eight states in Nigeria.
Some of the countries already on ground include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea and Tanzania.
States in Nigeria that have arrived Abuja for the annual international event are Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, FTC, Kaduna and Katsina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Runsewe said the aim of the expo is to better project Nigerian crafts to various countries of the world given that our stories are better told by us. It is also to promote cultural exchange programmes and improve inter-country collaborations in music, arts, drama, etc.
The expo, as usual, is expected to amongst other items, feature skill acquisition trainings for young people, free medical examination and care, display of countries art documentaries, exhibitions of countries’ arts, crafts and culture.
Runsewe said: “This is another opportunity we have to showcase Nigerian crafts to the world and to let the world know that Nigeria is a safe place to be. We want Nigerians to know that the creative industry is capable of tackling Nigerian insecurity problems by engaging the youths in our crafts for revenue generation.”
The 2022 expo holds from August 18 to 20, 2022.
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