The Capital Market Support Committee on COVID-19 (CMSCC), has donated an ambulance to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, to assist in the fight against the disease in the territory.
Ms Mary Uduk, the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who led the committee in Abuja on Thursday, said that the donation would also be extended to Lagos and Kano States.
A statement by Mrs Efe Ebelo, the Head, Corporate Communication of SEC, said the committee would also donate other medical items to FCTA and the two states.
She noted that the committee would also give an ambulance to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, to support the efforts in flattening the curve in the country.
She commended the administration for assisting the Federal Government in the fight against the pandemic.
Uduk regretted that since the country recorded its COVID-19 index case in February, the number of affected persons had been on the increase, leading to emergency situations and in some cases, death.
The acting director-general, while acknowledging the ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic both from the government and private sectors, said the capital market recognised the need to lend its support toward strengthening the available response mechanisms.
She said that their contributions would also help to ameliorate the burdens on those affected.
“The committee has been mobilising financial support and other resources from capital market participants and stakeholders, for the purpose of providing medical and protective supplies as well as other palliatives.
“The committee hereby announces the execution of the first phase of its intervention.
“This phase will cover donation of ambulances and other medical items to Lagos and Kano States including the Federal Capital Territory, being places with relatively high number of cases.
“We encourage all capital market stakeholders to key into this initiative and contribute to the CMSCC COVID-19 fund, to enable the capital market community deliver on planned interventions.
“We also encourage fellow Nigerians to continue to take the necessary safety precautions and abide by directives issued by the Federal Government and relevant health agencies.
“Together, we will overcome this pandemic,” she said.
In her remarks, the Minister of State for FCTA, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended SEC for the donations, saying that it would assist in ensuring quick response and efficiency in the fight against the pandemic.
Aliyu urged citizens to continue to follow laid down protocols, as COVID-19 was real.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was set up in April, to coordinate the capital market community’s contribution toward fighting the pandemic.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Safety Compliance: LASWA impounds engines of 6 erring ferry operators
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said that it had impounded engines of six passengers’ boat operators in its renewed efforts to sanitise waterways to prevent boat mishaps.
Its General Manager, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos by Mrs Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Affairs Officer of LASWA.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there have been reports of accidents on waterways in Lagos in recent times, the latest being July 29, which claimed more than 10 lives.
Emmanuel expressed LASWA’s commitment to continually ensure the safety of ferry passengers in the state.
According to him, the arrest of erring boat operators is part of the authority’s efforts in the ongoing enforcement and monitoring exercise across the inland waterways.
“The patrol team of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) earlier today seized a total number of six boat engines belonging to commercial ferry operators that were caught flouting safety regulations on the waterways.
“Their offences include: not wearing life jackets, overloading, reckless driving, among other offences which could have resulted in preventable fatalities when accidents occur,” the LASWA boss said.
According to him, areas covered during today’s safety compliance operations were Mile 2, Kirirkiri, Abule Osun Jetty, Alex Jetty, Liverpool, Ebute-Ojo all in the Ojo axis of Lagos.
Emmanuel reassured that the authority would no longer condone any action that would be against the safety standards of the state inland waterways.
“Any erring operator will be sanctioned appropriately,” the general manager said.
According to him, the authority will work harder on boat captains and deckhands while continuing sensitisation, awareness and enlightenment to foster safety on waterways.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Resumption: Unity schools’ Principals in Lagos assure parents, guardians of students’ safety
The Principals of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, and Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, have assured parents and guardians of safety of their children and wards as they resumed.
Agada and Yakubu-Oyinloye gave the assurance in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, on the resumption of schools by the exiting students of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country.
NAN also reports that the schools had been shut following the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education since March, as a result of the ravaging pandemic.
The Federal Government after due consultations with other key stakeholders, agreed to reopen the schools only for the existing classes of the Senior Secondary School 3 and the Junior Secondary School 3.
Agada said: “First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing our lives, the children, our parents and all other stakeholders. We have also been looking forward to receiving them.
”I also want to seize this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Education for the assistance rendered so far in order to make this resumption possible.
”Yesterday, the entire college was decontaminated, ranging from the classrooms, hostels the laboratories, everywhere, by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.
”We want to assure our parents that there is no need to panic, as our lives are in God’s hands but we will do our best and God will continue to protect us.”
According to him, the college has set up a committee called the “COVID-19 Guidelines Enforcement Committee”.
He said that the committee was made up of dedicated teachers that would be going round during the classes, the dinning halls and hostels to ensure that the students maintain the safety protocols.
Agada added that already, messages had also been sent to the parents and guardians to also advice their children and wards against any form of gatherings or contact activities such as playing of football or games that would bring them together.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left, and so, we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
”By tomorrow, full lecture will commence. We are fully prepared. The timetable is out and the teachers are very ready more than ever before to hit the ground running,” he said.
On the part of the management, the principal said that they have also put certain things in place.
“First, since it is only the SS3 students that are coming back, we have prepared hostels and spread them to all the hostels that hitherto, accommodated SS1, 2, 3 in the college.
”So, currently, we are not having more than 12 students in a room.
“Secondly, on the issue of classrooms, we have 30 of it at our main campus here, for the senior school.
“The SS3 students are coming in soon and these ones will be occupying 19 classrooms at the JSS section of the college, as against the 10 they used to occupy before now.
”All these are means of ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and also we have sanitisers, even customised ones, that is the pedal one.
“And graciously, where we procured some of these equipment from, the company is also coming in to assist us by giving us automated dispensers, like you see at the airports and other places,” Agada said.
He added that the college would also be mounting about 15 of such at the main campus and another 15 at the annex for the Junior Secondary School.
”We have also worked on our water, as we recently dug another borehole to expand our water reticulation system.
“The hostels too, we have worked on the hostels, the bunks, the broken down ones have been repaired, the classroom desks, we have also refurbished them.
”So, as the students are coming, we are sure that there is enough desks, bunks, space and water and all other necessary facilities that would ensure their safety and comfort.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left and so we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
“Again, another measure we adopted to reduce the crowd is to allow the borders in two houses, to be checked in first. We have four houses. By tomorrow borders in the other two remaining houses will be checked in,” he said.
The principal added that for now, only the borders were being checked in.
He said parents of some day students were also applying to be accommodated as boarding students.
The principal cited difficulty of accessing the roads to the college, following the closure of the 3rd Mainland bridge as a huge challenge.
”We have considered them, because we have the space.
”Our advice, therefore, to our parents is to remain hopeful and assuring that God who has kept us all these while, is still fully in control, and we must look unto Him and have faith in Him.
Also, at the Queen’s College, Lagos, its Principal, Dr Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, took NAN Correspondent round the college premises.
Yakubu-Oyinloye said: “We have put all the guidelines and protocols in place to ensure that our students are safe when they resume and all through the period of their stay here.
“You can see the sitting arrangements in our classes. We do not have more than 20 students per class with their seats placed two metres apart from each other.
“Names of students per class have been pasted by the entrance of each of the respective classes.
”We have also fixed automated hand sanitisers in all the classes, including the foot pedal sanitiser at the gate.”
According to her, instead of using the 12 classes that were designated before now for SS3 students, 34 more classrooms, including those for the SS1 and SS2 have now been converted for tluse of SS3 students to ensure social distancing.
Yakubu-Oyinloye added that the same measures also applied to the hostels.
The principal said that the school management, in collaboration with the PTA had fumigated the hostels and all other sections of the college.
She said that already, the Federal Ministry of Education, also in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, had decontaminated and disinfected the entire college.
”We have also serviced our water treatment plant as well as wash our tanks. In addition to keeping social distancing, we will also be staggering our break periods as well as our meal time.
”We have also designated a building as an isolation centre in the college, should there be any case of high temperature, before contacting the appropriate authorities.
“On the part of the teachers, they have been fully sensitised and equipped.
“In fact, teachers who will have no business on campus are not allowed to come around. They can do their jobs at home.
“In the same vein, all returning SS3 students must also come with at least five masks and must wear their masks before they can be checked in.
“They must also ensure that they come with their personal effects including cutleries as sharing is not allowed,” Yakubu-Oyinloye said.
The principal commended a set of the Old Girls of the college for donating 68 white boards for each of the classrooms in the college, adding that already another set of the old girls are set to donate four interactive boards to facilitate teaching and learning.
She pleaded with parents to impress it on their children and wards to ensure that they always adhere strictly to the safety guidelines.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Police warn private owners against opening schools to all students
The Police Command in Osun has warned private school owners in the state planning to reopen school for all students, under the cover of partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations, to desist from such action.
The police command in a statement by its Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola in Osogbo on Tuesday, said any private school owner found reopening school for all classes would face the full wrath of the law.
“The command has been reliably informed that some private school owners are planning to reopen schools for all students under the cover of the partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations.
“The partial reopening applies only to schools that have registered for WASSCE and to students in exit classes; students in SS3 and JSS3 classes who will be sitting for the examinations, beginning from Aug. 17, 2020.
“The Federal Government has not approved the reopening/ resumption of schools for all students.
“Therefore, any private school found operating under the cover of the partial reopening of the exit classes will face the full wrath of law,” the police warned.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
New York’s health commissioner resigns over COVID-19 handling
New York’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Oxiris Barbot, has resigned over alleged under-utilisation of the department’s “incomparable disease control expertise.”
“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been.
“Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work.
“The city would be well served by having them at the strategic centre of the response not in the background,” Barbot said in her letter of resignation.
This confirms speculation of disagreement between the Department of Health and the city administration over alleged handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This triggered complaints from officials of the department who felt the mayor made a wrong call by relieving them of their traditional responsibility.
Barbot’s replacement was immediately named as Dr Dave Chokshi, who was the Principal Health Adviser to former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Reports say New York’s Coronavirus contract tracing programme has come under criticism in recent weeks over complaints by contact tracers about lack of coordination and poor working conditions.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)