By Muhammad Nur Tijani
Kano, July 9, 2020 (NAN) Prices of building materials have skyrocketed in Kano amid low patronage of the commodities occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Essential building materials such as cement, ceiling, roofing sheets, bricks, iron rod and wood had indicated significant increase in prices.
A brand of Brazilian ceiling was sold at N2, 200 as against its previous price of N1, 900; while Chinese brand ceiling sold at N1, 600 as against its old price of N1, 400.
A bag of Dangote Cement costs N2, 700 as against its old price of N2, 600 and BUA brand of cement was selling at N2,750 as against N2, 650.
Similarly, a tone of 16mm iron rod sold for between 205, 000 and 210, 000 as against its previous price of N195, 000.
While a nine inch brick sold at N140 as against N130, and a packet of nail costs N2, 900 as against N2, 850 while a timber plank attract as much as N1,500 as against N1, 100 it sold in the past weeks.
Some of the traders attributed the increase to scarcity of the materials occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
Mr Idi Garba, a dealer at Sabon Gari market, said that prices went up due to drastic dropped in the supply of the commodities to the market.
”We get ceiling and other supplies from Lagos State, we are not getting normal supply due to restrictions on interstate travel.
“The trend affected prices of building materials,” he said.
Mr Baba Ali, an iron dealer, however, lamented low patronage as a result of hikes in prices.
He lamented that he was not making good sales as people were not patronising iron and other building materials.
Also, Mukhtar Sheriff, a contractor, noted that the high cost of building materials might dash the hope of many residents to build houses.
Shariff advocated for proactive measures to regulate prices of build materials to enable most families own decent houses. (NAN)
Eited by Debo Oshundun
Bayelsa Govt. promises safety of students as schools reopen Aug.5
Bayelsa Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the Federal Government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said that government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing hand washing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Gov. Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should for example provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on Aug 5.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
China’s manufacturing sector shows strong recovery – Survey
China’s manufacturing activity expanded in July at the fastest pace in almost a decade, according to a private survey released on Monday, though employment continued to drop in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 52.8 for July, compared to 51.2 in June.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below shows contraction.
The survey indicates the quickest monthly expansion of manufacturing output and new orders since January 2011.
Meanwhile, new business from overseas fell at the slowest rate in six months.
The index beat analysts’ expectations and comes as China has largely contained the coronavirus crisis and most companies have resumed operations.
Nevertheless, employment dropped for the seventh consecutive month.
While some companies hired more workers to meet production needs, others laid off employees to cut costs, the survey showed.
“To increase employment, manufacturers will need more time and confidence,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.
Official manufacturing data released last week also indicated a recovery.
The official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.1 in July compared to 50.9 in June.
China’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to official data, after contracting 6.8 per cent in the first quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Work resumes in Osun after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Workers in Osun resumed work on Monday after observing Thursday and Friday Eid-el-Kabir public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
The state civil servants working at the state secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, were also back to their duty posts, as many were already behind their duty desks carrying out the day’s work.
The same scenario also played out at the Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government secretariats, both in Osogbo, where some workers were seen resuming to their offices, as some others, already at the secretariats, were busy with their office works.
Staff and workers of the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, were also at the assembly’s complex carrying out their various duties and responsibilities.
Workers at some federal establishments in Osogbo too were also back to their stations as a lot of them were seen carrying out their daily jobs.
A federal worker, Mr Kareem Ashimu, said he traveled to Lagos, where his family resides, for the Eid-el-Kabir, and he returned back to the state on Sunday evening to resume work this morning.
Ashimu said the extended public holidays gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially those working in separate states from their family.
“Apart from the festivities and celebration stuff, the break afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my children.
“Though the COVID-19 restricted visitations and social gathering, I had a low key celebration with my immediate family and the expenses was also minimal,” he said.
A staff of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr Kamal Adeniyi said this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was the only one he ever observed without travelling to his own town to celebrate with his extended family.
“I just pray that this Coronavirus goes away soonest because it has really caged a lot of us and restricted our freedom,” Adeniyi said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)