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COVID-19: FRSC commences massive nationwide education, training

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COVID-19: FRSC commences massive nationwide education, training


The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has commenced nationwide education and enlightenment of road users and commuters in line with the presidential directives on COVID-19 prevention to ensure full compliance.

The Corp Marshal, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, said this during the training of front desk officers and marshals on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oyeyemi noted that the corps had commenced full patrol enforcement, adding that the outcome of the resolution reached by the transport unions and FRSC birth the enlightenment and education.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FRSC and road transports unions had on July 6 adopted resolutions to curtail the spread of Covid-19 pandemic following the lifts on interstate travel ban.

“We started with the preventive and educative approach before enforcement. We will educate all the drivers to ensure they do not carry more than the 50 per cent the government said.

“We have directed their various chairmen to meet with sector commanders in the states which they are doing already,” he said.

In the same vein, Oyeyemi said that the training scheduled for the front desk officers and marshals was in line with World’s effort to curb the menace of Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that it was a common knowledge that front desk officers of any organisation are always a mirror hence, the experiences of visitors at the front desk forms a lasting impression.

“The training today is not only premised on the Corps’ desire to continually improve on its service delivery.

”It also anchored on the corps strategic goal of improving personnel capacity and competence in road safety management.

“And above all, the resolve of the corps to improve the way it interacts with its customers especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

”Also to ensure that our front desk officers adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocol and FRSC management directives while discharging their duties,” he said.

Oyeyemi urged participants to internalise the messages contained in the series of lectures earmarked for the programme while working together to ensure that the corps remained COVID-19 free.

NAN reports that a total of 50 front desk staffs drawn from corps provost office, corps intelligence office and protocol unit were to be trained.

Participants were batched into two to ensure adherence to social distancing in accordance with the NCDC protocol.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

Ibironke Ariyo: 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]nnn.com.ng

COVID-19

COVID-19: SON, committee review safety guidelines for tourism sector resumption

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COVID-19: SON, committee review safety guidelines for tourism sector resumption

Guidelines

Abuja, July 3, 2020 Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Mirror Committee on Tourism are reviewing standards on health and safety measures for  the industry post COVID-19.

Mrs Chika Balogun, Committee Chairperson and Director-General, National Institute for Hotels and Tourism, said via a webinar meeting on Monday in Abuja that the draft standards would help revive the tourism sector.

According to her, it will help the sector to pick up when the lockdown ends.

”The online meeting by the committee’s Working Group on Tourism and Related Services is aimed at mitigating harrowing effect of COVID-19 on the industry.

”It will find a common ground for post-COVID-19 way forward in reviving the industry.

”The draft standards on Health and Safety Measures for Tourism and Hospitality Establishments-Post Pandemic (COVID-19) Resumption Guidelines specified resumption requirements to comply with lives protection and business sustainability.

”The guidelines apply to Hotels, Restaurants, Fast Foods, Conferences, Meetings, Event Centres, Tour Operatives, Travel Agents, Tourist Information Centres, Airlines and Beaches, among others,” she said.

Balogun said at a difficult period like this, tourism stakeholders needed to put all hands-on deck to pull out of the pandemic challenges.

Balogun thanked the committee members for their commitment and dedication towards making Nigerian tourism sector at par with its counterparts on the global scene.

The Director, Standards Development, SON, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, said tourism sector had been adversely affected by the pandemic within and outside Nigeria.

“National Mirror Committee is expected to oversee a comeback by the sector through deliberations on the draft standards and the eventual implementation,” she said.

Represented by SON Group Head, Service Standards, Mr Ayoola Ololade, Egwuonwu stated that SON was ready to work with stakeholders to revamp the sector to ensure that activities pick at the end of the lockdown.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Nigeria’s candidate for WTO chief prioritizes fixing dispute settlement system if selected

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Nigeria’s candidate for the top job of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said fixing the Geneva-based body’s dispute settlement system would be one of her priorities, if selected as the new chief of the WTO.


Okonjo-Iweala, who is competing with seven other nominees for the position of director-general of the WTO, told Xinhua in a recent interview that her top priorities if selected, would be preparing for the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Kazakhstan in 2021.

She also hoped to work on restoring the dispute settlement system and updating the WTO’s rule book.

The WTO’s dispute settlement body is currently paralysed.

The Appellate Body, considered as the Supreme Court for global trade disputes, is supposed to have seven judges and needs a minimum of three judges to function.

The United States administration has been blocking new appointments for more than two years, with United States officials claiming that the court had gone beyond its remit.

“I would be focusing, if I get the job, on the dispute settlement system because this is the fundamental pillar of the WTO,’’ Okonjo-Iweala said.

“If you have a rules-based organisation, you must have a place where rules are arbitrated and that’s what happens with the dispute settlement system.

“So, restoring that will be a top priority as well.’’

Nigeria nominated Okonjo-Iweala, an economist who twice, served as Nigeria’s finance minister and briefly acted as foreign minister, for the post of WTO director-general in June.

She also had a 25-year career at the World Bank, including as a managing director.

The candidate, who also sits on the board of Twitter and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, said she was confident to win the selection process and that she would be a listener-in-chief as well as a tough negotiator.

“I have strong political skills and negotiation skills.

“I think that’s very much needed; I am a consensus-builder and I’m a good listener too.’’

The candidate showed her confidence to “find a way to unlock the seeming division’’ on the trade side, between China and the United States, underlining that finding areas of mutual interest and to build trust within the WTO trading system would be important.

“Actually, if you listen to the two members, they have some things in common,’’ Okonjo-Iweala added.

“The dispute settlement system of the WTO is valued by both, they want it to reform, they don’t want it to disappear.’’

Okonjo-Iweala also noted that she hopes China will play the role of an economic growth engine in the current COVID-19 pandemic as it did during the 2008 global financial crisis.

“I think the best thing China can do is to recover quickly.

“Because it’s one of the engines of growth in the world and it’s almost a quarter of world trade,’ she told Xinhua.

“So, if it recovers quickly, it means that it can help the rest of the world recover.

“So, that’s the role I would see for China.’’

Roberto Azevedo, the incumbent WTO chief, announced in May that he will officially leave his post on Aug. 31, a year before his term expires.

The second phase of the selection process, in which the candidates “make themselves known to members’’, will end on Sept. 7 and then the General Council chairperson will consult with all WTO members before making the final decision.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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COVID-19

COVID-19 test no longer a requirement for resumption of students in Ogun — Abiodun

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The Ogun government had stepped down COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in the exit class in Senior Secondary schools in the state.


Gov. Dapo Abiodun announced the reversal in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Friday.

The government had on Sunday, through Mrs Ronke Soyombo, Special Assistant to the governor on Education, directed schools in the state to reopen for students in the SS3 classes on Tuesday.

It had also insisted that the returning students ran COVID-19 test before being admitted into the schools.

The government listed specific laboratory centres for the test which costs N50,000 had announced a 100 per cent subsidy for students in public schools and 50 per cent subsidy for students in the private schools.

Abiodun on Monday, however, reversed the decision and stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for the returning students .

The governor noted that the state had the highest number of secondary schools in the country with a total of 5,340 and 500 boarding students in private and public schools, respectively.

“After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the government laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost.

“I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.

“The health of our children remains our utmost priority.

“However, we have a total number of 5,340 boarding students in our private schools and 500 boarding students in our public schools.

“Our COVID-19 testing laboratory has an installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day.

“It may not, therefore, be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to resumption or even examinations which commences on August 17.

“Consequently the state government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes.

“We, therefore, enjoin private school owners to their duty of care to their pupils.

“The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of such private schools.

” We recommend that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.

“I have also directed the provision of face masks for all students in both private and public schools.

“The inconvenience and confusion experienced on Sunday is highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.

“The quality and standard of education and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart.

“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in Ogun State.

“It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest,” he said.

——

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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COVID-19

We’re working to ensure Nigerians have access to COVID-19 vaccines when available – NCDC

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Vaccines

Abuja, July 23, 2020 The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is working hard to ensure that Nigerians have access to the coronavirus vaccines when available.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, gave the assurance during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that the centre was working with the global community to ensure this access.

He informed that data on research and development of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the global scientific community showed that results on a possible vaccine were expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The DG, while noting that a vaccine was the best weapon in taming the virus, however, stressed that equitable access was key.

He added that the health agency was working together with other colleagues around the continent, through the Africa CDC, to start advocating for some of the trials to be done with African institutions in the short term.

“To do this, we have to build capacity, gather sufficient data and include African institutions in these efforts.

“We have to start preparing Nigerian population for vaccine delivery when it becomes available.

“Access is a very key issue when it comes to vaccines; that a vaccine is developed do not necessarily translate to being available to those that need it the most.

“So, through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with GAVI to ensure that vaccines are available to countries regardless of their ability to pay.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that GAVI is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.

“It’s a work in progress and we are all working with Africa CDC and GAVI to ensure that when a vaccine becomes available, Nigeria’s can have access to it,’’ NCDC boss said.

He also said that it was important to involve the private sector and academia in vaccination manufacturing.

Ihekweazu hinted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) would lead the distribution and planning.

The DG pointed out that campaign to enlighten Nigerians on the benefit of the vaccine was important.

This, according to him, is because a small part of the population resisted vaccines for different reasons.

“So, the time to start the risk communication about the benefits of the vaccine is now.

“As soon as a vaccine becomes available, it’s our collective responsibility to prepare Nigerians for the implementation of the vaccination campaign for whatever form they take.

“So, it’s important that we start thinking about this,’’ the DG said.

Ihekweazu stressed that a vaccine was the biggest weapon to get the virus under control and by far the most important medical tool known in history.

“Vaccine development normally takes 10-20 years, but we’ve made incredible development in the last six months,’’ he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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