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Don advises ASUU to amicably resolve conflict with FG



Prof. Charles Ayo, the Vice-Chancellor of Trinity University, Yaba, Lagos, has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to amicably resolve its disagreement with the Federal Government.

Ayo, a former Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Ota, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday.

He said the resolution of the conflict would be in the interest of the education sector and the country.

NAN reports that the National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, had on March 9 after the National Executive Council meeting of the union in Enugu announced a two-week warning strike.

The industrial action by the university teachers was in protest  over sundry issues bordering on its Memorandum of Understanding with government and registration on the IPPIS salary platform.

The don, however, noted that the advice became necessary in the interest of the students and Nigerians in general.

Ayo said that the Federal Government would never reverse its decision as a faction of ASUU had registered with IPPIS.

ASUU is divided on the IPPIS issue as a faction has agreed and registered with the Federal Government.

“I do not see how the other party can get the attention of the Federal Government to reverse its decision.

“It is like the case of a house that is divided against itself,’’ he said.

The vice-chancellor appealed to the other faction to also key into IPPIS policy on the ground of giving it a trial.

Also speaking, Prof. Osabuohien Evans, a professor of Economics at Covenant University, urged both parties to be sincere by coming to a round table in resolving the problem.

The don urged ASUU to focus more on core issues like infrastructure decay across the universities than the issue of IPPIS.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Mufutau Ojo)


COVID-19: BUA Foundation donates N200m, 5 ambulances to Lagos govt



BUA Foundation on Tuesday in Lagos donated N200 million and five ambulances to the Lagos State government to strengthen the state’s COVID-19 response plan.

Mr O’tega Ogra, Group Head, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, said in a statement that the Group Chief Operating Officer of the group, Chimaobi Madukwe, presented the ambulances and cheque to the First Lady of Lagos state, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Madukwe commended the effort of the state in curbing the effects of the virus, noting that BUA would continue to support various efforts across Nigeria to stop the virus.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we felt a responsibility to support the state government and the people during these times.

“We are proud to be associated with the Lagos State government in this fight against the coronavirus.

“We are keen in contributing our quota where needed to end the pandemic and these ambulances are to ensure the people of Lagos state get the best medical attention.

“We are working tirelessly with various stakeholders to further identify places where help is needed, and had since set aside a grant in addition to this cash donation and five ambulances from which some projects are being carried out,” Madukwe said.

Receiving the donations on behalf of the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the First Lady of Lagos state, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said the donation was critical to the COVID-19 fight.

Sanwo-Olu commended the foundation and the BUA Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu for the gesture, saying it would strengthen the state’s response to the pandemic.

Edited By: Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Indonesia reports 609 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 22 new deaths




The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 609 within one day to 27,549, and the death toll increased by 22 to 1,663, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

According to him, 298 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients to 7,935.

The pandemic has spread to all the 34 provinces in the archipelagic country. However, no more positive cases were found in 11 provinces as of 12:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

The provinces are Aceh, Jambi, Riau, Yogyakarta, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.

Authorities have been conducting coronavirus tests in affected areas and ordered the public to always wear masks to curb the spread. The government is preparing for the so-called “new normal”, under which the public would be allowed to resume their routines.

More than 300,000 military and police personnel have been posted in nearly 2,000 places, including shopping malls, traditional markets, and tourism spots in four provinces and 25 regencies or cities.


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5 dead, 1 missing in landslides at illegal gold mining site in Indonesia’s Kalimantan




Five people died and one was still missing after being buried by landslides at an illegal gold mining site in Buluh Kuning village, Kotabaru Regency in South Kalimantan province of Indonesia on Monday morning, Kotabaru’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Rusian Ahmadi Jaya said on Tuesday.

“The total number of fatalities after searching and digging the landslides in a day was already five. One is still under search,” he was quoted by online news portal as saying.

Jaya explained that the hilly area has made the personnel difficult to search the victims.

“No communication channels. It took us six hours to evacuate one body,” he said.

Jaya admitted that the area is known to attract people to search for gold illegally despite lacking of skills and proper tools. He has urged the local administration to keep the area free from miners since it was not the first fatal accident.

“That’s why this must be closed so that no more such an accident would happen,” he stressed.


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Indonesia’s inflation edges down to lowest in 20 years as pandemic falters demands




Indonesia’s consumer price index slipped to the lowest level in 20 years in May as restrictions of people movements to endure the novel coronavirus had depressed demands.

The National Agency of Statistics on Tuesday said that the inflation in May drifted down 2.19 percent annualized from 2.67 percent in the preceding month.

The core inflation, excluding administered prices and volatile prices, shrank 2.65 percent in May on the yearly basis from 2.85 percent in April, the agency’s Head Kecuk Suhariyanto noted.

On the monthly basis, the inflation also drifted down 0.07 percent in May compared with 0.08 percent in April, he said.

The virus pandemic had made the inflation pattern differ in May which coincided with the Islamic festivity, said Suhariyanto.

As the world‘s biggest Muslim country, Indonesia celebrates the Eid al-Fitr festivity with demands of goods and clothes usually leap.

“But the inflation this month is different from the figures in the preceding months,” Suhariyanto said.

The annual inflation in March settled at 2.96 percent, according to data from the agency.

Partial lockdowns along with the physical distancing to endure the virus pandemic had kept millions of people cooped up for weeks that cast demands stretched deep.

Indonesia is now gearing up for reopening the economy which has been dashed by the virus pandemic.


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COVID-19: VSF donates video teleconferencing solutions device to NCDC



The Victims Support Fund (VSF) Taskforce on COVID-19 has  donated Video Teleconferencing Solutions Device valued, N31 million to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to facilitate its service delivery.

Video conferencing is a telecommunication gadget used in  bringing people together, face-to-face, no matter where they are.

Mrs Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Head of the Taskforce, during the presentation in Abuja on Monday,  said that NCDC was one of the most important government agencies in Nigeria, hence there was need to support its activities.

She said  the idea of donating the device was to aid the NCDC management reach out to its staff faster, considering the role of the centre.

“We realise that the centre needs a strategic communication frame work to reach out to people across all the health care institutions within the federation for urgent response to disease control,” she said.

She also noted that the Chairman of VSF, Gen. TY Danjuma (Rtd) inaugurated the VSF Task Force on COVID-19 so as to provide palliatives to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups around the country.

She also said  the taskforce donated 10 kg bags of rice, beans, maize, garri, 4 litres of vegetable oil and 2kg of salt to many households across four geopolitical zones of the country,  covered so far.

Akerele-Ogunsiji said that 27,000 households across Lagos, Ogun, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states would be benefiting from the gesture.

She further said the exercise was to mitigate the hardship that Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable, were experiencing at this period of pandemic.

According to her, VSF is committed to sustaining efforts in the global fight against the devastating Coronavirus pandemic.

“It will continue to work to provide succour to victims of insurgency and armed conflicts in Nigeria, especially in the areas of livelihood, recovery, education, protection, infrastructural development as well as research and peace building,” she said.

She said that VSF had so far,  reached out to relevant stakeholders with medical consumables, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and personal protective equipment in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus.

“We are also working with the vulnerable, institutions and agencies supporting the government as part of its contribution to national efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

“The taskforce is working closely with all the relevant agencies at the Federal, State and Local Governments to contain the pandemic,” she said.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, NCDC,  appreciated VSF taskforce for reaching out to the centre, saying that the intervention would help the centre facilitate response to disease as it would reduce cost of movement from one place to another.

Ihekweazu noted that the intervention was apt and would actively help the centre to drive its response.

“This particular intervention will be credibly useful for our response considering our role.

According to him, the big task the centre has is coordinating the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the country.

“We have a public health department and emergency operation centre in each of those states, what we try to do is to make sure that we are all alive in the response.

“We provide them with all the support that they need to respond to this outbreak and other outbreak in their states.

“And in order to do that effectively, we need this kind of communication equipment especially now that we cannot travel as often as we want.

“Even when the roads are opened up, it takes a lot to ask the state team to leave their states and come to central location,’’ he said.

He however, was optimistic that the world would not be the same after this Coronavirus outbreak “as far as public health is concerned and we will have to engage more of this communication equipment.

“Because this is exactly what we need at this point in time; a new way of living, a new way of working; where you are constantly in touch with people without actually physically traveling,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)


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64th Anniversary: Navy donates food, palliative items to communities in Abuja



The Nigerian Navy on Monday distributed foods items and other palliatives to host communities in Abuja to commemorate its 64th anniversary.

The Navy said this was to support the Federal Government’s efforts to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and as part of activities to mark the Service 64th anniversary.

The exercise took place in Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area Councils

The News Agency of Nigerian reports that the Force also distributed some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as hand sanitizers.

Rear Admiral Jatau Luka, the Director of Administration, Naval Headquaters, represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, at the event.

Speaking during the occasion, Ibas said the palliatives were aimed at reaching out to vulnerable communities.

” Today rounds up the low keyed activities of the 64th Anniversary of the Nigerian Navy which started last week with distribution of palliatives and inauguration of projects by the Commands.

In general, the Nigerian Navy week serves as an opportunity for introspection and reflection as well as merriment which will be lacking this year due to the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic.

” In rounding off the 2020 Nigerian Navy(NN) Week, the NN was expected to observe one of its major tradition which is the conduct of medical outreach in communities that host NN formations and establishments.

” However, due to the prevailing public health environment, arising from the occurrences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this effort could be quite challenging within the extant framework to curb the virus spread.

Therefore, the CNS has directed for the conduct of palliative distribution to members of the public in host communities within the FCT.

” This underscores the commitment of the NN to its corporate social responsibility as well as support to the efforts of the Federal Government in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the less privileged citizens.

” Arising from the foregoing, the Nigerian Navy is here to donate palliatives to the vulnerable Nigerians residing in Kuje and Jiwa Communities,” he said.

The CNS reiterated the commitment of the Navy to sustain the relationship between the Force and the communities and prayed that the relationship continues.

He also acknowledge the warm and cordial relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the Kuje and Jiwa Communities.

Ibas said the Navy is hopeful that the relationship will continue to deepen progressively for improved national security.

In his response, the Chief of Kuje (Gomo of Kuje), HRH Haruna Jubrin, commended the Nigerian Navy for providing the communities with the palliatives.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)



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London to offer COVID-19 risk assessments to Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers: mayor




Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in London will have access to risk assessments after reports showing they have a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Monday.

The risk assessments — which will be open to those working across the Greater London Authority family, including Transport for London, The Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade — will consider the physical and mental health needs of all vulnerable staff, including BAME, older and those with pre-existing conditions, said City Hall in a statement.

“Far from being a great leveller, the coronavirus crisis has exposed the unacceptable major inequalities in our society,” Khan said.

“This pandemic must be a wake-up call to our country and we need the Government to show their commitment to tackling these great injustices and immediately commission an independent public inquiry that will properly address this issue,” he added.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white men and women, after taking into account age and socio-demographic factors.

City Hall published Monday a new research to further understand this disproportionate impact, comparing coronavirus cases in London to a range of measures including ethnicity, job security, poverty, deprivation, age and a range of health conditions.

The study from City Hall’s Intelligence Unit shows the highest COVID-19 death rate in London is an area of Newham, where 82 percent of the population are BAME, one in three is in insecure employment and there are high levels of deprivation, obesity and diabetes.


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COVID-19 : Oyetola commends group for donating protective items to Osun



Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Monday, commended Al-Azeez Medical Venture, a Pharmaceutical Company for donating protective items to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The medical consumable donated include 1,800 liquid soap, 300 bottles of hand sanitiser, Two gallons of hand washing liquid and 200 pieces of hand gloves.

Oyetola, represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamatu, said the gesture by the group was laudable, saying it would be of great benefits to citizens.

” I want to appreciate Al- Azeez medical ventures for giving back to the system at this period of global pandemic of COVID- 19 which is commendable.

” Health financing takes a lot of funds and the state government is doing its best with the limited resources available to tackle the Coronavirus,” he said.

According to him, the state government will  continue to engage stakeholders in the health sector in fighting the pandemic ravaging the entire world.

“We shall continue to synergies with your venture and other phamarceutical companies for the health benefit of residents, ” he said.

In his remarks,  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Al-Alzeez Medical Ventures Ltd,  Dr Adebayo Adedokun, said the state government had performed creditably, especially in the health sector.

Adedokun lauded frontline health workers for their relentless effort in the fight against COVID -19.

“We donated these items to support the government of Osun when we realised that government has done a lot within its powers and the limited available resources to curb the spread of Coronavirus .

“As an indigene of Osun, we will continue to assist and support the government in whatever way for the benefit and well-being of the people,”  Adedokun said .

He, therefore, commended the government for being  proactive with the measures put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic, saying the measures had assisted in reducing the number of cases in the state.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)


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COVID-19: South African-based firm donates palliatives to vulnerable in FCTA



A South African Real Estate Investment Company based in Nigeria, Novare, has donated palliatives to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to help vulnerable communities cushion the effect of COVID-19.

Head of Legal of the company, Mr Chineme Onuoma, while presenting the items on Monday in Abuja, assured that the company would continue to support the FCT and Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the items donated included 100 bags of 50kg rice, 245 cartons of indomie noddle, 100 cartons of spaghetti, 100 cartons of vegetable oil and 75 cartons of tomato paste .

He commended the steps taken by the administration to manage the pandemic in the territory.

Onuoma revealed that aside the provisions of palliatives to underserved communities, Novare had approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020 with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants.

“Particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.

“Each of Novare’s mall accommodates over 60 tenants, having Shoprite and Game as its anchor tenant, with over 600 direct employees and well over 2, 000 indirect employees in each mall, including suppliers of the different goods and products sold by the tenants at the mall.

“To ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected, starting from those closest to it, Novare, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, has so far approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020.

“The rent-free concession granted to tenants have helped to keep their various businesses afloat, thus alleviating the financial burden on these tenants.

“This financial assistance enables the tenants to channel the income they generate to payment of staff salaries and sustaining their respective supply chains.

“This effectively reduces unemployment, which would have been the consequence if tenants were unable to survive this period,” Onuoma said.

He also stated that the firm had expressed commitment to observe all laid down protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on the prevention of the spread of the virus particularly within its facilities and to educate and sensitize the public in line with government directives.

Receiving the items, FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended the thoughtfulness of the firm especially in supporting the vulnerable with palliative items.

Represented by Prof. Muhammad Usman, her senior Special Assistant on Administration, Aliyu also appreciated the company for putting measures in place to ensure job sustainability.

The minister, who stressed the need for collaboration in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, assured that the items would be distributed to underserved communities.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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