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Communities laud FG over Ikot Ekpene Highway construction



South South and South East communities have commended the Federal Government for approving the award of outstanding portion of dualization of Calabar-Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene highway project.

Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved N50.2billion for the construction of the road project.

The Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang, made the commendation in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

He said: “I, on behalf of the people of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Abia states, and indeed the commuting public, do express sincere appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for this great favour to the people of South South/South East and indeed the nation.’’

According to him, the road, constructed in 1976 as single lane is now for dualization from Calabar – Odukpani in Cross River State; Itu – Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State leading to the yet to be awarded section of Ikot Ekpene (Akwa Ibom) to Aba in Abia States.

He expressed the hope that the Federal Executive Council approval would breathe life into the economy of the South South and South East.

Enang believed that the road, being the economic artery of the two zones, would improve the hardship facing the commuting public.

The presidential aide also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, the immediate past Minister of Budget and National Planning “who worked hand in hand with me to capture the funds in the Appropriation process’’.

“Special thanks go to Sen. Danjuma Goje, Emeritus Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee and former Gombe State Governor for helping hands.

“We pray the Ministers of Works and Housing and that of Finance, Budget and National Planning to please assist the take-off and sustenance of the project for completion within the contractual time frame by making adequate budgetary provisions annually.

“To the Secretary, Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and his team at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), a big thank you as we together make more impact in the South South/South East geopolitical zones,’’ he added.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Ismaila Chafe: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


Lockdown: FCTA issues new directives on markets operation



The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed that markets in the territory would only operate three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 7a.m to 2p.m

The FCT Minister, Mr Muhammad Bello, gave the directive during a meeting with market managers and top hierarchy of the territory Police Command on Monday in Abuja.

The command was led by Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma.

Bello, represented by Mr Adamu Gwary, Director, FCT Security Services Department,  said that the directive was part of ongoing efforts to curtail spread of Coronavirus in the territory.

The minister, however, said that only retailers would be allowed to operate within the markets as wholesale services are not permitted.

He, therefore, directed market managers and the FCT Police Command to ensure compliance by monitoring all entry and exit points of the various markets and activities of the traders.

He also advised FCT residents to patronise markets within their neighbourhood to limit the spread of the virus between communities.

The FCT Police Commissioner, who gave the assurance that the command would enforce the market directive, advised residents against flouting the regulation.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey

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Only neighbourhood markets allowed to operate -FCTA



The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has warned that only neighbourhood markets are allowed to operate inline with the Federal Government’s stay-at-home order.

Mr Ikharo Attah, Chairman, FCT Task Team on Enforcement of Movement Restrictions, made the clarification on Monday in Abuja during an enforcement exercise along Lugbe axis, a suburb of the FCT.

Attah cautioned that any individual found violating the order would be arrested and prosecuted.

He said that the enforcement team observed that some residents are flouting the Presidential order by going about their businesses in spite of the restrictions order.

Attah, therefore, appealed to the residents to comply with the directive and stay indoors to enable government carry out more contact tracing to contain the spread of COVID-19 into the city and satellite towns of the FCT.

He reassured the residents that the Federal Government restrictions order was in the best interests of citizens.

“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has being doing so much to enlighten Nigerians and clarify that the issue of 10.a.m to 2p.m. market is for those who are in a neighborhood to stock food and not for major markets,” he said.

Attah warned those who are taking advantage of the stay-at-home window to construct illegal structures to desist from such act.

He said that the FCT administration would not hesitate to bring down any illegal structure built during the lockdown period.

“Embarking on any construction of structures during the period contravene government stay at home directive and any individual found in such act would be dealt with accordingly.

“You cannot be constructing illegal structures now under the guise that the nation is undergoing lock down for COVID-19.

“This illegal structures when completed, and when we now go for demolition they will now be asking, where were you when we were building.”

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Ismail Abdulaziz

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COVID-19: Group calls for testing of rural residents



The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisations of Nigeria (FIWON) has called on the relevant authorities to immediately secure mobilise COVID-19 testing tools to rural communities to contain the spread of the disease.

The organisation’s General Secretary, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, said on Monday in Lagos that the call became necessary in view of the restriction of movement and limitations of rural dwellers.

Komolafe said that the exercise would bring the true picture of the spread of the disease among the general populace.

FIWON is an umbrella body of over 170 organisations of working people in the informal sector in Nigeria.

Komolafe said that a lockdown without other aggressive government measures might not help much in slowing the spread of the disease because the means of livelihood of people in the rural communities had been hampered.

According to him, there should be an urgent need for investment in the capacity to rapidly test, treat and contain Covid-19 spread.

“We are concerned that few people have been tested so far while thousands of people that have been exposed to the virus by travellers that are now difficult to trace and have remained anonymous; this is dangerous.

“Working people living in poor, overcrowded communities with poor water supply, sanitation and healthcare facilities are especially vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is so because of the difficulty of practicing social distancing rules in over-crowded households and communities,” he said in a statement.

According to him, the practice of social distancing is incomprehensible in the informal context because it presupposes that people live in a house large enough to practice it.

“Water and sanitation facilities should be provided by the government in high-density areas, informal settlements, markets and motor parks.

“This should be accompanied by campaigns for regular hand-washing and maximum hygiene in these places.

“Food and other essential commodities supply chains must remain open; as several states close their borders to others.

“Low-cost loans should go to owners of micro and small businesses through cooperative societies. It should be coordinated by the Bank of Industry to enable business recovery after the pandemic,” he said.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Peter Ejiofor)

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Lockdown: Compliance over 80% in Ogun, Lagos, says FRSC Zonal Commander



The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), RS2 Command, Lagos, says motorists’ compliance to the Federal Government’s lockdown directives is more than 80 per cent in Ogun and Lagos States.

Mr Samuel Obayemi, the FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer in charge of Ogun and Lagos States, told Nigeria News Agency on Monday that there was a high level of compliance of motorists to the movement restriction order.

NAN reports that some private and commercial motorists, tricycle and bicycle riders are defying the lockdown order in some parts of the zone, six days after the lockdown order,  was issued to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Obayemi, an Assistant Corps Marshal, however, said that the corps in synergy with other sister agencies, would not rest on its oars to ensure 100 per cent compliance.

“As I speak, I am currently at Ikoyi in Lagos, going round to see the situation and our men on the road and I must say that there is a high level of compliance.

“The vehicles on the roads are those who are on one essential service or the other.

“There is a high level of compliance because there is synergy between the FRSC and other security agencies to see that people comply with the lockdown order of the Federal Government in the zone.”

Obayemi urged recalcitrant motorists to desist from defying the order, saying it was meant to save their lives and those of others from the global pandemic that had killed more than 60,000 people worldwide.

The assistant corps marshal, who said that it was wrong and illegal for motorists to defy government’s directives, called on all residents to support the government in arresting COVID-19.

“People are not allowed to gather. What the government is doing is in their own interest to prevent the spread of this virus.

“People have been advised to stay at home. Gatherings are not allowed. We will continue to do our best to make people sit-at-home and obey restriction of movement order,” he said.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, in a Presidential broadcast on the pandemic on March 29, gave a restricting order on movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11.00 p.m. on March 30.

Buhari, who directed that the restriction should also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two states, said that the step was to stop the spread of the virus.

Some categories of people providing essential services were, however, exempted from the restriction.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Felix Ajide



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COVID-19: NUSA distributes relief packages to Nigerians in S’Africa




The Nigeria


Union in South Africa (NUSA) has commenced distribution of relief materials to Nigerians in that country, to cushion the effects of the lockdown ordered


by the South African  government.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the South African government, on March 25, ordered a 21-day lockdown of the country to prevent the continuous spread of the COVID- 19.

Mr Adetola Olubajo, President of the union,


said in a statement issued from Pretoria, South Africa, that the aim was to assist Nigerians in getting essential commodities during the lockdown.

He said that some of the items bought by the union included bags of rice, toilet papers, baked beans, eggs,


potato, vegetable oil and other essentials.

“It’s a complete package because we do not want Nigerians here to feel the pains of the lockdown.

“We commenced the exercise in Pretoria


and we also appeal to our people in need of these items to contact our welfare team,” Olubajo said.

He also urged Nigerians resident in South Africa and beyond to continue to adhere strictly to precautionary measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

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COVID-19: FCTA to begin distribution of palliative materials April 9th



The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will begin the distribution of palliative materials to the less privileged on April 9 to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home presidential order.

FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who made this known while inspecting storage facilities in the Kubwa NYSC Orientation Camp, on Monday in Abuja, explained that the palliatives are targeted at the vulnerable residents and the physically challenged in rural communities.

She also said that security measures had been put in place to safeguard the palliative materials, adding that the security personnel would be increased in addition to the establishment of a police post in the vicinity.

“Honestly, if not for the producers that are coming from far places like Kano and beyond, we could have commenced today (Monday), but between Tuesday and Thursday, we are good to go. It will not go beyond this week.

“To me, it is not about rushing to do something but to do it well and effective service delivery should be upper most.

” The aim is how it gets to the grassroots especially the vulnerable and the physically challenged in the society without hitches.

“We have identified capable hands that will do that for us across the structures because we have seen how chaotic it has been in other parts of the country.

” The real poor and vulnerable ones that are desirous and anyone that comes up with a proof and sincerely believe that his family is desirous of this palliative. These are the people this palliatives are targeted at”.

Aliyu said that the FCT administration had identified five large stores and five hostels at the Kubwa NYSC Orientation Camp to serve as storage facility and isolation centre respectively.

She said that five trucks of palliative materials are expected to arrive today 6th of April.

“The NYSC camp is closed and every corps members are at home. We have many facilities like hostels, halls and worship centres. We have secured five large halls for storage of palliative materials to be distributed across the territory.

“We are expecting about five trucks of deliverables today and we are here to inspect and secure the stores where these items will be kept. To safeguard the materials, we have also increased the number of security personnel to man this environment and establishment of a police post.

“We are here also to inspect other facilities in case, God forbids, we have other cases of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have secured five big halls as one of the isolation centres that can accommodate 200 patients in case of any eventualities.

” Work on the toilet facilities and water supply would be completed soon,” she said.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Sadiya Hamza

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Exam misconduct: JAMB de-list 9 CBT centres



The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has de-listed nine Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres from the list of approved centres in the just concluded 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

JAMB, in its weekly bulletin, published every Monday in Abuja said the centres were de-listed due to technical deficiency to conniving with candidates to cheat.

According to the board, the centres include St. Anthony Comprehensive Secondary School, Abia State, St. Josephs Institute, Enugu, Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State, H. S. P. S CBT centre, Omu-Aran in Kwara and Darman Model College CBT Centre, Satelite Town, Lagos.

Others are Lafia Knowledge Centre, Lafia, Solid Rock Girls Academy, Sagamu, Ogun State, Sejdom Global Ventures Limited, Ibadan, and MS World ICT Institute of Information Technology, Kano.

The board said out of the 1,945,983 million candidates who sat for this year’s examination, 195 candidates were involved in different forms of examination misconduct.

According to the board, the misconduct include examination by proxy, connivance to cheat, smuggling of mobile phones and electronic devices into examination hall, attempt to cheat and double registration.

Other examination misconducts as outlined by the board were tampering with exam documents, forceful entrance, double registration, faking of vital documents and unruly behavior by candidates.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Sadiya Hamza


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Lockdown: NLC expresses worry over huge jobs loss after pandemic



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed worries over the implications of the lockdown, due to Coronavirus pandemic, on jobs security in the country.

The Lagos State Chapter Chairman, Mrs Agnes Sessi, raised the concern in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Lagos.

According to her, many people have lost their sources of livelihood as a result of the situation.

Sessi, therefore, appealed to the Federal and Lagos State Governments and other employers of labour to do everything within their capacity to protect the jobs of workers.

According to her, some manufacturing and multinational companies have stated that they require bailouts for them to be able to retain their staff strength at the end of the pandemic.

“We are afraid of jobs losses, which will worsen the already chaotic situation of the saturated jobless market.

“The economic reality on ground, since there is limited cash flow, will have mitigating effect on all strata of the economy.

“And recovery may take time, which will also take its toll, mostly on the workforce.

“While senior cadres of the workforce may manage to survive the onslaught of this stay-at-home, the negative impact will be felt more by the lower cadres of the workforce.

“This workforce may need the support of their spouses doing menial trading for their families to survive.

“But for the lockdown, such moves cannot be achieved; which means they will also require bailout and relief support,” she said.

Sessi said many workers in the informal sectors had been disenfranchised from their daily livelihood, adding that the impact was causing more poverty and hunger to the people.

The chairman had earlier commended the state government for its exemplary and enviable leadership and zeal in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

She also lauded the state government’s initiatives in combating the disease in the state.

Sessi had in a statement said: ”We appreciate the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and his team for the commitment and professional way the issue is being handled.

“The untiring efforts of the doctors, nurses and health workers in assisting to combat this pandemic and ensuring the well-being of every citizen are recognised are highly appreciated.

“We, however, call on the government to do all within its power to protect them in the line of duty by providing adequate Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) and motivating them through adequate compensation.”

The chairman, while appreciating the neighbourhood market as part of efforts to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home directive, said that the spread was not enough to meet the needs of Lagosians.

She, however, noted that the target recipients in  the distribution of relief materials to indigents and most vulnerable in the state to cushion the effects of the directive, were yet to be reached.

Sessi urged the government to make the process more seamless and stress free by deploying already established structures in the state.

She listed these to include market and social groups, organisations, trade unions and institutions to reach those in extreme need.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Olagoke Olatoye

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FCTA seeks support of clergymen to combat Covid-19 pandemic



The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has appealed to clergymen to support the Federal Government’s efforts in the ongoing fight against covid-19 global pandemic.

Mr Ikharo Attah, the Chairman, FCT Task Team on Enforcement of Movement Restriction, made the appeal during an enforcement exercise on Sunday in Abuja.

Attah, while preaching the danger associated with congregational prayers due covid-19, urged the clergymen to engage their members into worship through online on different social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and others.

The chairman, who expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance by the FCT residents in some of the area the team visited, rated the success at 96 per cent.

He then enjoined FCT residents to continue to collaborate with the government and report any worship center and social gathering within their vicinity that fail to comply with the stay-at-home directive by the government.

“Well I think we went round most part of the metropolis, we went round Kubwa, Gwarimpa and I think the compliance from my own point of view from the churches, I can put it at 96 per cent which is total compliance.

“They all work closely with government, they all shot down worship center and so far so good, they are all at home praying and doing their prayers, ” Attah said.

The Chairman, while addressing a community at Byanzhi in Kubwa, explained that government was not banning Church or Mosque services forever but for this trying period.

He expressed optimism that very soon it would be over and people would resume their normal life.

“We have move round Abuja and all churches and mosques are closed and the one that is opened is around this place.

“Please we are begging all of you, is your own area, so please, we are begging all of you, we are not saying any church or mosque is banned for ever, no.

“Now that we all know that we have a problem, we all know Covid-19. Those of us who are Muslims, do ablution and pray in your houses and those of us who are Christians, should sing praises and pray for our family and the country.”

In one of the worship centres the team visited in Byanzhi in Kubwa, a suburb of the FCT, “Rhema Assembly Church”, the church pastor, Prince Onyekachi and three other members were seen playing gospel music and engaging other members of the church at home for worship online.

Onyekachi commended the government for taking such action.

”Government wants to protect us. We don’t have any reason to disobey the government,” he said.

Edited By: Fela Fasharo/Sadiya Hamza

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