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Commuters call for improved LAGFERRY services, more boats



Some commuters using the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal have called on the Lagos Ferry Services Company (LAGFERRY) to improve its services and provide more boats for its growing patrons.

They spoke in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Ikorodu, Lagos.

NAN recalls that the Lagos State Government promised to deploy more boats and high capacity buses to cushion the effect of the ban on commercial motorcycles and tricycles.

Since the ban on Feb.1, the number of commuters using the waterway has increased significantly.

NAN also reports that the 14 ferries are currently operating of which seven are stationed at Ikorodu ferry terminal.

Mr Tunde Aluko, a ticketing agent at Ikorodu terminal, confirmed that there had been tremendous increase in the number of people using the waterways on daily basis.

Aluko called on other stakeholders to invest in water transportation to ease traffic on the roads and ensure improved services on the waterways.

“On a daily basis, we are recording over 100 passengers in the morning.

“However, we need more boats to service other routes such as Ikorodu to Apapa, CMS to Ikorodu and others.

“We also need more people to invest in water transport because it will encourage more people to use the waterway and ease the traffic on the road,” he said.

Mrs Kelechi Alogba, a passenger, advised that government should adopt strategies used by the local boat operators to improve the services of LAGFERRY.

“The boats are not enough if they are really looking at expanding waterway transportation and I think they can do better.

“The LAGFERRY operators are overwhelmed and are a bit disorganised in their operations, especially in ticketing.

“The local boat operators have been operating for years and they are much organised.

“I will advise that they understudy the local operators and replicate their system to improve their services,” she said.

Mrs Ogunsanya, also a passenger, advised that the government should invest more in smaller boats that would take passengers to their destinations in due time.

Mr Amara Sesay, another passenger, called on the government to adopt better management method for safety and satisfaction of everyone.

According to him, this will boost the confidence of passengers and ultimately help government to achieve its goal in traffic management,

Another passenger, who simply identified herself as Bolanle, called for a system that would allow for  a difference in child fares from adult fares on all the modes of transportation in Lagos State.

“How can Lagos State run a ferry service and Bus Rapid Transit and still charge the same amount for children?

“There should be child fare on all the modes of transportation if they are truly building a smart Lagos,” she said.

Mr Zakari Yekini, the terminal manager, decried the constant dredging activities in the area, which he said, was a major challenge.

“We need to clear the debris in the waterways and shut down the activities of dredgers in the area.

“There are about five dredging companies in the area and we have taken it up with relevant authorities.

“They were told to be 50 meters away from the jetty, but right now they are 20 meters away and this may have negative effects in the future.

“We pray their actions will not lead to accidents that could have been avoided,” he said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Adegoke Adebola: 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]


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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COVID19: TUC kicks against move to invite Chinese doctors



The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has advised the Federal Government not to invite Chinese doctors to assist the country in combating Coronavirus pandemic.

Its President, Mr Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General, Mr Musa Lawal-Ozigi, gave the advice in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

The union leaders said that the move to invite the Chinese doctors was unnecessary, saying that those in Nigeria were on top of the challenge.

“As an organisation, we sincerely appreciate the Chinese authority for releasing their doctors and some of their best hands in spite the catastrophic effect the virus had on their country recently.

“However, it is important to state that the minimal number of people infected and deaths recorded is a proof that Nigeria is not doing badly in the efforts to handle the situation.

“Truly, the Chinese authorities have done well by not recording more cases in their country; it is novel and also shows their proactiveness and commitment to crises.

“That notwithstanding, we insist that we do not need them now; rather, we shall continue to adhere to precautions by health professionals to make the job easy,” they said.

The union president and secretary general also urged the Federal Government to look into the issue surrounding the 5G network and its effect on health of the citizens.

According to them, government should set up a committee of professionals to research on the development as it will help to address the fears of many people.

“There has been a hot debate about the connection between 5G network and Coronavirus pandemic.

”Although, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ibrahim, in a statement said “no licence has been issued regarding 5G in Nigeria, yet it is a bit confusing.

“We must collectively work to ensure that the welfare, health and security of citizens are not taken for granted; we must be circumspect now, ” they said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Olagoke Olatoye

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Air Peace delivers FG’s medical supplies from Turkey



Air Peace on Sunday delivered the first batch of the Federal Government’s medical supplies to fight against the spread of Coronavirus pandemic and treatment of those infected.

Its Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Toyin Olajide, said in a statement in Lagos that the medical supplies was carried by Air Peace aircraft Boeing 777 with registration number 5N-BWI.

Olajide said the aircraft landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, from Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday night.

She gave kudos to the Federal Government for its efforts to curtail the spread of Coronavirus disease in Nigeria.

Olajide said that the Nigerian Government was ahead of some countries in the fight against the virus, which was devastating to mankind.

“The management of Air Peace commends the Federal Government for being proactive in the preparation for emergencies, preventing the spread of the virus.

“For also providing the kits and other medical equipment for the treatment of those infected by the pandemic.

“This shows that government is ready to fight this disease and it is even more prepared that governments of some of the advanced nations in the measures and strategies adopted to eradicate the virus,” she said.

Also, an inside source told the Nigeria News Agency that the flight left Nigeria early Saturday for the seven hours flight to Turkey and was able to lift the supplies and returned to Nigeria before midnight.

The source also said apart from the first medical supplies, the airline would leave Nigeria for China on Monday with Boeing 777-ER marked 5N-BVE for another batch of medical supplies.

According to the source, Air Peace will also deliver another supplies for the Federal Government.

“It will leave for Beijing on Monday for 15 hours non-stop flight to China with its B777-ER with registration number 5N-BVE,” the source said.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Olagoke Olatoye

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Coronavirus has reduced humanity to same level – Bishop Kaigama



Bishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja Catholic Diocese has said that the Coronavirus pandemic has reduced humanity to the same level.

“The disease has reduced us to one level. The mighty and small nations have all been reduced to the same level with all feeling the hit and unable to do much about it,” Kaigama said on Sunday, while addressing newsmen after celebrating the Palm Sunday Mass.

The Mass was celebrated in an empty Church after the few members that turned up for Service were asked to leave the Church following government’s order banning any gathering.

The measure is part of the efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging several parts of the world.

Kaigama, while lamenting the hardship humanity was going through as a result of the disease, said that it had forced humanity to see everyone as equal and helpless without God, the creator.

“The pandemic has taught us that we must come together to conquer the ills of the society.

“All nations, big or small, developed and undeveloped, poor and rich, have seen that technology cannot do much. Everyone is running from pillar to post in search of safety.

“Clearly, it is a new beginning for humanity. It means we must return to the golden rule of love and respect for one another. Above all, it has shown that God is on the throne and all must return to Him,” he said.

Kaigama commended the Federal Government for putting in place measures to contain the disease, but urged handlers of palliative measures to ensure they reached the poor, the hungry and the helpless.

He particularly advised those saddled with sharing items meant for the vulnerable people against the temptation to seek to gain from the global misfortune.

“It should never be about what we can gain from the situation. It should be about what we can contribute to the system,” he said.

The Archbishop also urged Nigerians to obey the stay-at-home order of the Federal Government.

“No one should dare the government. No one should accuse government of being harsh be cause it has locked up the cities. All the measures are for the safety of all and we should be seen as being respectful of constituted authority,” he said.

He urged Christians to pray for an end to the scourge, and urged those saddled with implementing the lockdown order to handle Nigerians with respect and civility.

“Security personnel should not intimidate people on the highway. There should be no extortion,” he said.

Kaigama commended the media for leading the fight against the spread of the virus, saying that the sacrifices of newsmen had made them a great asset to the country.

“The media has remained our great bridge, getting relevant and authentic information to link those at home with those on the field in the collective war against the pandemic.

“God will continue to bless the journalists and strengthen them in their roles of building a strong society fortified with the right information to make informed decisions,” he said.

The Bishop also prayed God to reward and bless medical workers who were sacrificing their comfort, and even lives, to give professional help to the sick in the fight to rid Nigeria of the pandemic.

He challenged Nigerians to trust and rely on God, at this critical time.

“Even though it is a tragedy, this period is also a providential one in the sense that we are learning to trust God and rely on Him more than before.

God has the final word not man, whether he be president or a well endowed scientist. Man cannot be omnipotent as God. If we served God partially, haphazardly or indifferently in the past, we must develop a much deeper spiritual communion in the solitude of our homes,” he said.


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Archbishop Kaigama urges government to be sensitive to vulnerable, suffering Nigerians



The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Ignatius Kaigama, on Sunday urged the Government to be sensitive to the suffering of Nigerians during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Kaigama gave the charge in Abuja while celebrating mass at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Catheral Church, adding that the poor and the less privileged were suffering at this time.

”Government must be sensitive to the suffering of the people who have nothing to eat or means of survival at this critical period,” he said.

He charged security agents not to be hard on the people, noting that it was a difficult task to stay indoors.

The Archbishop also admonished Catholics and the entire Christians to continue to keep the faith stronger and not allow Coronavirus distance them from God.

He charged Christians to take advantage of the stay at home order to get closer to God.

The Cleric explained that this was the period to show love and to care for others, adding that it was nobody’s fault that the coronavirus pandemic had kept everyone at home.

He said that it was period to let the Lord lead believers and transform them, so that they would be good Christians, dependable and patriotic Nigerians.

”During this period, we intensify our prayers, we intensify  our charity toward others, especially the poor, the marginalised and the deprived in the society,” he said.

While assuring that a cure for COVID-19 would be found soon, Kaigama urged Nigerians to be at peace and to maintain law and order.

He cited the examples of how Priests and Bishops celebrated mass secretly during persecution in Madagascar and Chinese Communist, urging Christians to pray ceaselessly during this difficult time.

According to him, the Priest and Bishops found a way to keep the Church going even during the toughest times.

“So, we must say masses and have devotions in our homes regularly.

”This is the period to draw closer to God and trust him more than before. We must develop ourselves spiritually and trust God.

”We must not make the mistake of saying that Jesus is on holiday, as Jesus is everywhere and never on holiday.

“Jesus could visit you at home just as he visited Martha. So, you must be prepared at all time to receive him,” he said.

Kaigama however, prayed for the frontline heroes who are working during this difficult time to keep the country safe and informed.

NAN reports that the Archbishop celebrated mass in an almost empty church as members were not present, due to the coronavirus stay at home order by the Federal  Government.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maureen Atuonwu

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COVID-19: NUJ begs FG to avoid Chinese medical team



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has pleaded with the Federal Government not to get Chinese medical team involved in the fight against Coronavirus in the country.

Mr Chris Isiguzo, NUJ President in a statement on Saturday, said the union was alarmed by the decision of the Federal Government to bring  Chinese Medical doctors into Nigeria to fight COVID-19.

According to Isiguzo, the Nigerian medical doctors are doing exceptionally well in fighting the outbreak.

“We caution that it will be counter productive to bring in Chinese doctors. We  reject a situation where Nigerians will be used as a Guinea pig for any experiment.

“Thus, it is pertinent to plead with the Federal Government to stop this Medical Team from coming to Nigeria because of the Italian example where there was an inexplicable spike in COVID-19 related deaths when the Chinese doctors arrived the country.

“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgent concern investigate the allegation, that what is happening today is associated with the launch of the 5G communication network as Nigerians are becoming more agitated.

“We urge the Federal Government to be more proactive in dealing with these emerging issues because any mistake made will be catastrophic,” Isiguzo submitted.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Wale Ojetimi

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Covid-19: NGO commences sensitisation, distribution of relief materials



An NGO, Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) has embarked on sensitisation and distribution of relief materials to vulnerable Nigerians.

This is part of their contribution to the Federal Government’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic that is hitting many countries of the world.

Mr Blessing Akinsolotu, President of the NGO who made the disclosure in Abuja, said the foundation would reach Nigerians across the six geo-political zones of the country.

The NYC president said the programme is in partnership with Sen. Andy Uba Foundation and office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters.

He explained that the programme was taking place simultaneously in Awka and Jikwoyi, a suburb of Abuja.

NAN reports that the items distributed by the group included; hand sanitisers, face masks and some hampers of food.

He appealed to Nigerians to stay in their homes and observe social distancing as well as obey guidelines released by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

He also urged philanthropists, businessmen and women and religious leaders to support the effort of government towards curtailing the pandemic in the country.

The NYC boss said that if each one helped at least one person in providing succour, the pains of the vulnerable would be eliminated considerably.

In his speech, Dr Yakubu Shendam, Chairman, Governing Board of NYC, said the organisation had also commenced the distribution of medical and relief materials.

According to him, the youth body of the NGO is coordinating the programme.

The chairman explained that the effort was being channelled through the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to Nigerians.

Shendam commended NYC volunteers for their commitment and willingness to provide the desired support for the proper and effective distribution of the relief items to the masses of the country.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz

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COVID-19: Chinese experts coming to share experince only -DG NOA



Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said on Saturday that the Federal Government was not importing Chinese medical experts to directly take charge of the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

Abari states this when he featured at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) live programme in Abuja.

He explained that the 18-man Chinese medical team are only coming to share experience with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on how they were able to handle their own case.

He noted that whatever information the Chinese medical team made available to NCDC would be filtered and apply to address the peculiar challenge of the country on Covid-19.

“Because this is a global pandemic and from wherever assistance comes, you cannot reject it.

“For instance, the United States is opening its doors to all volunteers that will come and assist them because they are also getting overwhelmed.

“Despite its finest medical facilities and expertise, yet US is now saying any form of assistance coming from anywhere that will add value to the fight against Covid-19 is welcome.

“It is not as if the government of Nigeria is not appreciating efforts of its own medical experts. This is the time when Nigeria is proud and appreciating its own medical experts and showcasing it best.

“This is the time that Nigeria is moping all its competent hands, both active and inactive and bring them together with a view to ensure that we beef up competent human capacity required to address the issue at hand,” he said.

Abari, who said that humanity was put under challenge by Covid-19, stressed the need for everybody to contribute meaningfully to the war against the virus.

He said that the Federal Government was responding favourable in the provision of palliatives to the vulnerable groups, including persons living with disabilities through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Investment.

Abari appealed to citizens who had shown symptoms of the virus to quickly present themselves to NCDC for testing and proper medical attention to avoid endangering the lives of other people.

He also admonished citizens to maintain high standard of personal hygiene by washing their hands constantly or apply alcohol based sanitiser.

The DG also enjoined citizens to be law abiding by obeying the stay-at-home directives of government, saying, “together we shall defeat Covid-19.”

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ismail Abdulaziz

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NiMet predicts cloudy, sunny weather conditions from Saturday to Monday



The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy, thundery, and sunny weather conditions across the country from Saturday to Monday.

NiMet’s Weather Outlook released on Friday in Abuja predicted influx of moisture-laden winds from the southern parts of the country up to the northern parts, causing an increase in moisture accumulation.

According to the forecast, there will be a few cases of thunderstorms over the central cities, inland areas

of the south, and the coastal states.

“For Saturday, the northern region is expected to be in cloudy conditions with interval of

sunny weather during morning and evening periods with exception of Mambilla Plateau, Gusau,

Yelwa, Bauchi, Jalingo, and Yola where thunderstorms are to prevail.

“Due to the influx of moisture extending to the central cities, cloudy conditions are expected over the region in the morning, with possibilities of thunderstorms over the Abuja, Jos, Kaduna, Zaria, Lafia, Makurdi,

Bida, and Lokoja axis in the afternoon/evening hours.

“Cloudy conditions are anticipated over the inland areas of the south and southwest coast with exception of Eket, Calabar, Rivers (Bonny), and Yenagoa axis where thunderstorm is expected in the morning hours.

“Later in the day, thunderstorm is anticipated over the southern region of the country in places like Lagos, Abeokuta, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, Oshogo, Enugu, Owerri, Akwa, and Ogoja,” the agency said.

It further forecast sunny conditions for Sunday over the northern region in the morning

with exception of Yola, Jigawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Yelwa, and Niger with thunderstorm activities

over, Bauchi and Jalingo in the afternoon/evening period.

It said the central cities would be in cloudy conditions with interval of sunny weather in the morning.

According to it, there are chances of thunderstorms over parts of Abuja, Jos, and Kaduna.

It also envisaged a cloudy morning over the southern region with prospects of thunderstorms over Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ado-Ekiti, Oshogbo, Ondo, Enugu, Obudu, Ogoja, Ikom, Owerri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Eket, and Calabar during the afternoon/evening hours.

“For Monday, the northern region is expected to be in cloudy conditions with interval of sunny weather during the morning and evening periods with the exception of Mambilla Plateau, Taraba (Jalingo), and Adamawa where thunderstorms are to prevail.

“While cloudy conditions with interval of sunny weather are expected over the central cities with chances of thunderstorms over Jos, Kaduna, Makurdi, Kogi, and Kwara in the afternoon/evening period, cloudy conditions should prevail over the inland and coastal cities, while thunderstorms are anticipated over Akure, Abeokuta, Ogoja, Obudu, Benin, Asaba, Owerri, Beyelsa, Calabar, Eket, and Port Harcourt during the afternoon/evening periods,” it said.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim

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