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Education

Don advises colleagues to support IPPIS

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Prof. Nnamdi Obikeze,  the Dean, Faculty of Education, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, has advised lecturers to support Federal Government’s Integrated Payment Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to save the nation’s resources.

Obikez told the Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Monday that IPPIS would curtail fraud in the universities and further boost the sector.

“Every unbiased individual should know that by enrolling into the scheme, the federal government will be authenticating the actual number of its employees.

” A situation where lecturers earn from two or more universities’ payroll is fraudulent.

“It is not the time for colleagues to fight over what government feels is the best policy to use in paying workers,” he said.

Obikeze decried the education sector’s allocation, which he said, had worsened productivity.

“Nigeria is yet to attain the UNESCO’s 22 per cent recommendation on education with only seven per cent should be improved on,’’ Obikezie said.

He advised that education should be the foremost sector to be properly funded, stressing that the extent of a nation’s human capital development would determine its growth level.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Tajudeen Atitebi

 

General news

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

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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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Defence/Security

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

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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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Foreign

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

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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.

(XINHUA)

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Health

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

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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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Metro

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

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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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Foreign

London mayor urges Britain to extend Brexit transition

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London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, on Monday urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to extend the transition period for Britain to negotiate post-Brexit arrangements with the European Union.

Khan asked Johnson’s cabinet chief and lead minister for Brexit, Michael Gove, to “put political ideology aside” and extend negotiations with Brussels, which are due to resume on Tuesday.

“The last thing our country needs as we try to find a way forward from this pandemic is more chaos and uncertainty.

“I’ve urged the government to put political ideology aside and pursue the pragmatic route of seeking an extension to Brexit negotiations,’’ opposition Labour politician Khan tweeted.

Britain formally left the bloc on January 31 after a slim majority voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum.

Little has changed during a planned 11-month transition that Johnson has vowed not to extend, in spite of a lack of progress in talks that have been overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis.

EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told the Sunday Times that Britain had failed to meet its commitments to the negotiations on future trade and other arrangements.

“London had taken a step back, two steps back, three steps back, from the original commitments.

The UK negotiators need to be fully in line with what Johnson signed up to with us,’’ Barnier added, referring to a joint declaration on the principles of future relations.

Johnson and Gove have suggested they would accept a “no deal” Brexit if London and Brussels cannot agree on new trade rules by Dec. 31.


Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Foreign

Policeman killed as suspected IS militant attacks police office in Indonesia

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One policeman was killed and another injured as a sword-wielding man, who was suspected as an IS-linked militant, attacked a police office in Indonesia’s province of Central Kalimantan on Monday, a police officer said.

The police found documents linked with the IS group in Iraq and Syria in a small bag of the attacker, Provincial Police Spokesman Senior Commissioner Mochamad Rifa‘i said.

The militant burned a police patrol car early morning before slashing a policeman who was in charge at the Daha Selatan police office, and he was dead at the scene, the spokesman said.

The attacker identified as AR was shot dead by other policemen, said Rifa’i.

The police were probing the possible linkage of the militant with the IS group, the spokesman was quoted by local media as saying.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Senator donates 500kva transformer to Ibadan communities

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Sen. Kola Balogun(PDP-Oyo South) has donated a 500KVA transformer to improve power supply in 16 communities of Ali-Iwo area in Ibadan.

Giving account of his 12-month stewardship in a statement on Sunday in Ibadan, Balogun said he also donated cash, food palliatives and materials during the outbreak of COVID-19 virus.

Balogun, who was a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industries in Oyo State, said he facilitated Akufo Cattle Ranch farm worth $10m to the state.

“I also facilitated Federal Government dry food ration exercise for 250 households in Oyo South, and facilitated Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) for 250 beneficiaries.

“I also secured N-Power job for 100 beneficiaries and renovated Oje-Igosun Primary School in Ibadan,” he said.

Balogun said he empowered artisans and traders with revolving micro credit loan of N50million powered by SMEDAN.

He added that he had trained youths and film stakeholders as well as facilitated ecological project for erosion control in his senatorial district.

The lawmaker said that effort was ongoing to help constituents who applied for COVID-19 CBN-assisted loans for businesses in securing the facility.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lawmaker had in the last one year sponsored three bills, co-sponsored five bills, sponsored two motions and co-sponsored four motions at the Senate.

The bills included one for an Act to Amend the National Health Act 2014, to Regulate Medical Treatment Abroad and for other Matters Connected therewith 2020.

Others were bills for the development of a decentralised system of vigilantism peculiar to every local community and another seeking periodic conduct of National Population as well as Housing Census.

“The remarkable motions I sponsored were the need to upgrade the status of the Ibadan Airport to international airport and immortalization of Late Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) in recognition of his contributions to national development.

“I also co-sponsor and supported several motions, among which are a motion to revive moribund paper mill in Nigeria as well as support for Amotekun concept in the Southwest,” he said.

Balogun said that he had in the last one year participated in several oversight functions as a senate committee member and protem chairman.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

Indonesia reports 700 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 40 new deaths

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The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 700 within one day to 26,473, with the death toll adding by 40 to 1,613, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference on Sunday.

According to him, 293 more people had been discharged from hospitals, making the total number of recovered patients stand at 7,308.

The pandemic has spread to all 34 provinces in the archipelagic country.

Authorities have been conducting coronavirus tests in the 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.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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

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