Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), an NGO, on Saturday advised older persons to adhere strictly to safety protocols recommended to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the initiative made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Ikokwu said the call had become necessary especially following the easing of lockdown measures that were imposed by government to help stop the spread of the virus.
The CEO, who is also the Secretary General, Coalition of Societies for Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) further called on older persons to wash their hands always, keep social distance, and wear face masks in order to lessen their chances of getting infected.
According to her, the reality on ground is that the pandemic is still ravaging people globally until a cure is discovered.
“The lifting of ban on interstate movement and easing of lockdown does not mean cure has been found for COVID-19 or that the pandemic is no more.
“Older persons in the cities that have domestic workers should take care that they don’t come and go daily but should either reside or stay away completely until the pandemic is under control.
“The pandemic is still very much around, so this is the time for all of us especially the older persons to be very cautious because they are more susceptible to the virus than the younger ones,” Ikokwu said.
She called on corporate bodies and the all the various workers’ unions to embark mass sensitisation at the grassroots to the reality and dangers of COVID-19 to avert community infection.
According to her, some of the older persons in the rural areas are either not well informed about COVID-19 or are not given the adequate care or attention by care givers.
Ikokwu, who reiterated the need for older persons to be safety-conscious at all times, called for a government policy aimed at providing adequate care for older persons especially in rural communities.
She decried the attitude of some people toward older persons and called for an immediate change of such character.
NAN reports that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 recently announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the lifting of the ban on interstate movement which took effect on July 1.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
LASG holds consultative forum for Y2021 Budget, adopts holistic approach to COVID-19
Mr Samuel Egube, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, made this known at the 2021 Budget Consultative Forum on Tuesday in Lagos.
Egube said that in order to minimise the effect of the pandemic, the state government had implemented interventions along the line of aggressive healthcare responses, business support, sustainability measures and relief to the poor.
“We are going to flag off our internship programme by the Ministry of Wealth.
“The idea is to get people to work, and the state government will pay them, while working for SMEs to gather experience and tackle unemployment,” the commissioner said.
He said that for half of the year 2020, the state recorded a budget performance of 57 per cent (N334. 838bn), which was in absolute terms higher than the 73 per cent (N316.676bn) for the same period of 2019.
“The COVID-19 pandemic with its resultant health and economic impacts greatly affected the state, like other geographies around the world and changed the context within which we execute development agenda.
“Within this very difficult context, LASG was able to achieve greater revenues, while managing expenditure with revenue stronger by six per cent against the approved budget.
“We will continue to minimise wastage through tighter expenditure controls and promote prudent spending.
“Plans to invest in comparative advantage areas such as aquaculture for quick wins was underway,” he said.
For the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the commissioner said that the state was providing wage subsidies based on maintaining payroll and enhancing the access of SMEs to short term funding through the State Empowerment Trust Fund.
“Rice Mill at Imota is expected to employ 300, 000 people and is at 75 per cent completion.
“It is expected to produce 120, 000 Metric Tonnes annually, and increase local rice production by 75 per cent.
“Efforts are also ongoing to train rice farmers on the right variety of rice to produce to feed the mill,” he said.
The commissioner said that continued efforts to digitise the state were ongoing.
On the economic outlook for year 2020, he said that forecasts suggest 2020 GDP growth would be severely impacted followed by a sharp rebound of 3.5 per cent.
Earlier, Mr Adebayo Sodade, Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Budget, said the forum was an avenue to update the stakeholders on the half year performance of the budget.
Sodade said it also brought to general knowledge the resources available for the next budget, taking into cognisance all economic variables and externalities such as crude oil prices, inflation, interest rates and the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.
“Rubbing minds with you also provides us an ample opportunity to share ideas geared toward the greater Lagos project, while ensuring that your desired interests are adequately captured in the development agenda,” he said.
Sodade urged citizens to fulfil their civic responsibilities through regular payment of taxes, monitoring of government projects and reporting observed lapses.
He also called for the protection of public facilities and infrastructure, obedience to traffic and safety rules and regulations, ensuring environmental friendliness and security consciousness for a greater Lagos.
The special adviser said government had planned to improve revenue and overall service delivery by widening the tax base to meet citizens’ expectations.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Resumption: Lagos schools comply with COVID-19 protocols
Secondary Schools in Lagos State are complying with the COVID-19 prevention protocols, as students in exit classes resume.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondents, who visited some schools in the state, report that water, soaps , alcohol-based hand sanitisers and infrared thermometer were provided by the schools.
Also, compulsory wearing of nose masks and social distancing in classrooms were observed by students and teachers.
A big banner displaying World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was seen at the entrance of the Honeyland Schools, Ipaja.
At the Senior High School, Alimosho, students wore face masks or shields while receiving lectures in their classrooms.
Mr Oluyemi Faleke, Principal of Honeyland Schools, said that SS3, students of the school were ready for the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Faleke said that during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, the school engaged its students through virtual learning.
He said that participation was compulsory.
“We do not just collect money from parents, we make sure students get good quality education.
“We have many classrooms for students to practise social distancing , it is possible for five students to sit per class during the examination,” he said.
Kehinde Fadaka, Head Boy of Honeyland Schools, said that he was ready to write the examination.
He said that he studied hard with the assistance of the school’s virtual learning and personal timetable.
“The classes we are having now are to help me revise all I have read and prepare me for further.
Miss Opeyemi Hamzat, SS3 students of Senior High School, Alimosho, said that she was very happy to resume.
Hamzat said that she read everyday during the lockdown and participated in the WAEC revision programme aired on television by Lagos State Government.
Mrs Betty Attah, Executive Director, Mandate Schools, Akerman in Alimosho said that the school followed the COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
”We have prepared our boarding facilities for all SS3 students, the arrangement will accommodate three students instead of 10.
“We have six students in each class in order to practise social distancing,” she said,”Attah said.
Mrs Grace Ikazan, Principal of Sophem High School, Ipaja – a private school, said that the school was doing revision for SS3 students.
Ikahan said that only SS3 students resumed, adding that the students’ temperatures were being checked regularly and social distancing observed.
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Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Risks of COVID-19 infection through breastfeeding negligible — WHO
Dr Laurence Grummer-Strawn, Head of the organisation’s Food and Nutrition Action in Health Systems unit, stated this on Tuesday, according to the United Nations.
In a report, the UN quoted Grummer-Strawn as making the statement at a news briefing on the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week where he appealed for greater support for the practice.
“WHO has been very clear in its recommendations to say absolute breastfeeding should continue.
He said that the advantages included the fact that breastmilk, including milk which is expressed, provides lifesaving antibodies that protect babies against many childhood illnesses.
“This is only one of the reasons why new mothers should initiate skin-to-skin contact and room-in with their babies quickly.
He explained that the conclusion followed the testing of the breastmilk of many mothers around the world in a variety of studies.
Grummer-Strawn said although a few samples had the virus followup tests showed that the virus was not viable and could not be infective.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Zamfara Govt directs schools to resume on August 9
The Zamfara Government has directed secondary schools in the state to reopen from August 9, to enable exiting students sit for Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in Gusau on Tuesday.
Abdullahi said the state is complying with the Federal Government directives for the reopening of schools for the exit classes at Junior and Senior level.
“Based on this, Governor Bello Matawalle has directed the Ministry of Education to immediately commence the process of reopening schools for exit classes as directed by the federal government.
“As you can see, we have just conclude deliberation at management level, we have taken all issues under consideration, we have analysed all the problems and opportunities, we have resolved that.
“All the boarding schools will be reopened on the 9th of August, while the day schools will be reopened on 10th of August.
“The decision is to allow both public and private schools to make proper arrangements and prepare for the examinations in line with the COVID-19 protocols”, the commissioner said.
Abdullahi said that the state government would fumigate all its 193 schools and examination centers across the state.
“We enjoin parents and guardians to ensure prompt resumption of their wards to school and also take certain responsibilities of equipping their children with certain palliative as well as adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
“The state would provide hand sanitizers, washing detergents and thermometers among others at the examinations centers and schools.
“We are going to deploy health workers to all schools and examinations centers.”
The commissioner further said that the state government was also making plans to reopen schools for other clases very soon.
He said that the government was considering Aug. 24, for the resumption of JSS students, as well as SS 1 and SS 2, and primary schools.
Abdullahi directed all public and private schools to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with government for the successful conduct of the examinations.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)