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Don’t kill yourself, PenCom begs retired 65-year-old teacher in Bauchi




In a swift reaction to the plan by a 65-year-old retired teacher who served in the Bauchi State Civil Service, Mr Alhamdu Dan’Azumi, to terminate his own life, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Friday promised to assist him in getting his entitlement.

The Head, Research and Corporate Strategy of the commission, Dr Aminu Farouk, made the promise while reacting to the March 4 death threat by Da’Azumi in an interview wit the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

It was reported on on March 6, that the prompt intervention of few journalists and others around saved the life of Dan’Azumi.

Dan’Azumi was a Primary School teacher who retired from active service in the Ningi Local Government Authority, Bauchi, in 2016 and started collecting pension in 2018.

The report had indicated that Dan’azumi had walked into the premises of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Press Center, Bauchi and attempted to commit suicide for the refusal of the state government to settle his gratuity years after retirement from active service.

Dan’Azumi reportedly chanted: “I have worked for 35 years and retired and I am entitled to my  gratuity.

“I cannot even sit with my family because I can hardly cater for their needs, pls help me.”

It added that Dan’Azumi claimed that he was indebted to the tune of N800,000 and had been HIV positive for over 20 years.

Faroul said that Bauch State where the aggrieved worked and retired, was not implementing the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

He, however, pleaded with Dan’azumi to write a letter of complaint and send to PenCom, as the commission was willing to intervene quickly.

“Although Bauchi State is not implementing the CPS, the retiree can send us a complaint.

“We shall see how we can assist him to get his entitlements,” Farouk said.

Farouk said PenCom would continuously leave up to the expectations of catering for Nigerians at old age.


Indonesian capital eases novel coronavirus-related restrictions




A woman wearing a face shield walks on a road in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 5, 2020. Indonesian capital Jakarta‘s administration began easing the novel coronavirus-related restrictions in weeks ahead as the country is preparing for a new normal scenario. (Photo by Edy Susanto/Xinhua


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COVID-19: Fidelity Bank donates N10m to Kano govt



The management of Fidelity Bank Plc has donated N10 million to Borno Government for the prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Mr Hassan Imam, Executive Director, Northern operation of the bank who presented the cheque on Friday in Kano, said that the gesture was part of the bank’s social responsibility and contribution to the fight against the dreaded disease.

Imam, who lauded the commitment of the state government said that the gesture would go a long way in supporting the fight against the pandemic.

He assured the state government that the bank would be an active partner in the fight against the virus and called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders.

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje who received the cheque thanked the management of the bank for the donation.

Ganduje said that the N10 million would go a long way in complementing ongoing efforts by the state government in containing the virus.

The governor advised other organisations to emulate the bank, while assuring that the donation would be juiciously utilised.

Meanwhile, the governor also received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Chinese Business Community in Kano.

The leader of the delegation, Mr Zhiu Bin who presented the items said that the PPE would help the state government in combating the virus.

The items donated include, 5,000 test kits, 126,000 disposable protective mask, 660 protective clothes, 660 face shield and 1,800 KN 95 mask.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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WHO excites over $8.8bn vaccine donation to GAVI



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed appreciation to governments and donors for contributing $8.8 billion for the vaccine as announced by GAVI, an international organisation, created to improve access to vaccines.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, expressed the appreciation on Friday on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO.

“This is great news that governments and donors have pledged an amazing $8.8 billion to GAVI for life-saving vaccinations, exceeding the target.

“Thank you to member states, Uganda, Cameroon and Burkina Faso, who pledged to support GAVI’s immunisation efforts,’’ it said.

GAVI had on Thursday on its twitter account announced the donation, saying: “We are thrilled to announce that our goal has been achieved and surpassed!

“Thank you to all our incredible donors for reaching a total figure of $8.8 billion.’’

In his reaction, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, thanked the donors.

“I’d like to thank all donors who stepped up yesterday to fully fund GAVI for its next five-year cycle.

“This is a vital investment in saving millions of lives from vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHO looks forward to working with GAVI to realise the power of vaccines for everyone and everywhere,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the UN health agency said Ebola vaccination activities were ongoing in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, where a new outbreak was detected this week.

WHO and partners have deployed experts to support the government-led response on the ground and sent supplies for vaccination and testing efforts,’’ it said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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General news

Kebbi Assembly tours abandoned projects



Kebbi State House of Assembly joint Committee on Agriculture, Animal health Husbandry and Fisheries, General Administration, Works and Transport and Public Account is visiting abandoned projects across the state.

Alhaji Samaila Salihu-Bui, Chairman of the joint committee, during a visit to the uncompleted Veterinary Hospital Bulasa, on Friday in Birnin Kebbi said the visit was to ensure probity and accountability.

Salihu-Bui, also a member representing Arewa constituency, added that the visit was also to provide an avenue for discussion with contractors handling abandoned projects.

“We embarked on this tour to find out the problems for ceasing projects in spite of their impact toward improving living standard of people in the state.

“There is no reason to stop the veterinary hospital construction, since government had already paid 70 per cent of the project,” he noted.

He ordered the contractor handling the project, Muhammadu Kiruwa, to immediately complete the project to enable people of the state benefit from it.

In his remarks, the contractor, also the National President of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association, assured the committee of returning site soon to complete the project.

Kiruwa said the company would resume work as soon as he discuss with the engineers from the Ministries of Animal Health Husbandry and Fisheries as well as Works and Transport.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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FCT COVID-19 team says has not abandoned duty



Federal Capital Territory (FCT) COVID-19 Emergency Response team says it has not abandoned duty over non-payment of the N30,000 daily allowances for April and May.

Mr Alabi Adozia who spoke on behalf members from the FCT Public Health Department working on the COVID-19 Pandemic, stated this on Friday in Abuja.

Adozia said the team members were committed to the fight against the virus because of its challenges on the health of FCT residents and Nigerians.

He explained that it was true that some members of the team expressed displeasure over the non-payment of their allowances for two months.

Adozia, however, said that the action did not in any way affect the job of collection of samples of suspected COVID-19 patients and other related activities.

Dr Mohammed Kawu, Acting Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, reassured the team that the challenge hindering the payment of their allowances had been resolved.

Kawu said that the arrears of those affected would be paid in full while measures had been put in place to prevent similar occurrence in future.

He commended members of the team for their commitment and dedication to duty in spite of the critical nature of their work.

He said that in spite of the risk involved the team had shown commitment to working round the clock to ensure that the pandemic was brought to an end in the FCT.

Kawu pointed out that the Community Active Case Search was now being carried out in communities in all the six Area Councils.

He reminded residents that the virus was still spreading and people were being infected.

He urged residents to adhere to all established health protocols, particularly regular hand washing, wearing of face masks and avoiding large gatherings and crowded places.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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COVID-19: Enugu Govt calls for prayers, as religious group donates palliative



Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State has called on religious leaders to seek God face over COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the world.

Ezeilo made the call when she received cartons of hand sanitiser at the Enugu State Government House from a religious group under the umbrella, Igbo Christian Restoration Assembly (ICRA); South East in Enugu on Friday.

She thanked the religious group for coming to assist in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

”I understand that you are here to handover these cartons of hand sanitiser to the government to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

”The fact that you people feel the pains of your brothers and sisters motivated the move to donate this palliative.

”As we accept this palliative, we also call for your prayers because our hope is only on God to take this pandemic away from the state, Nigeria and the world at large,” the deputy governor said.

In his speech, the National Coordinator of ICRA, Bishop Obi Onubuogu, congratulated the state government for witnessing low case of the pandemic.

”We are here today to present to the state these items in support of the fight against COVID-19.

ICRA also wish to congratulate the governor and the good people of Enugu state as we celebrate God’s safety and His preserving grace in our state.

”God has been with the state since the outbreak of this global pandemic called COVID-19.

”We are happy with the government for its strategic steps taken in checking the spread of the pandemic which has resulted in very few number recorded cases in the state,” he said.

He said that it was on record that all the cases in the state were imported from outside.

We thank God also for the treatment and discharge of almost all the recorded cases,’’ he said.

The coordinator said that the group believed in what the state government was doing against the pandemic and to keep people of the state safe.

He said that the group wished to congratulate the members of the state task force led by the deputy governor, saddled with the responsibility of combating the pandemic.

”We enjoin the entire people of the state to continue to cooperate with the state government as we battle this evil pandemic of our time together,’’ Onubuogu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that present at the presentation were, Commissioner for Transport, Mr Matthias Ekweremadu, Chairman House Committee on Information, Mr Jeff Mbah and Executive Secretary to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs Nkechi Eneh.

Others were Commissioner for Inter-Ministerial, Mrs Mabel Agbo, Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Mr Mike Ogbuekwe, among others.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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COVID-19: Coalition private sector donations given to isolation centres



A coalition of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has called on the FCT Administration to invest donations by private sectors to isolation centres directly.

The coalition made the appeal in a communiqué signed by Alhaji Abubakar Yaqub and Mr Ossai Ilome, at the end of a one-day situation room meeting on Friday in Abuja,

Yaqub is the NLC Chairman, FCT chapter, while Ilome is the Secretary, Communique drafting committee of the meeting.

The communiqué recommended that Road Transport Union should demonstrate goodwill to government existing protocols by identifying and sanctioning members flouting the existing physical distancing guidelines.

It also recommended decentralised committee on monitoring of members’ compliance on exiting protocols in the six Area Councils.

“A call for state meeting to bring this decision to all members as it was discovered that the delivery of donated hygienic items/materials were not been conducted in an effective manner, and therefore, recommended testing, treating and tracing.

Further engagement with the NLC headquarters should be conducted to solicit broader media campaign for direct donations to relevant stakeholders/departments/facilities.

“Pursue the development of standard operating manual on various procedures to treatment and evacuation of COVID-19 patients.

“Unions should endeavour to pro-actively engage employers without waiting for untoward action to happen first.

National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) in collaboration with NLC headquarter would be engaged to pursue a stimulus package for the aviation industry where necessary,” the communique stated.

However, some of the stakeholders also made suggestions as captured by the communique.

For example, NUATE observed that payment of salaries; sack of employees by the employers; absence of protocol for resumption and hygiene supplies are still posing challenges.

Similarly, the NUJ observed that payment of salaries; security harassment of journalists; supply of hygiene items to media houses as well as lack of hazard allowance were the major challenges facing the sector.

Medical and Health Workers Union emphasised the lack of PPE supply; disproportionate holding centres; and non-existence of FCT owned testing centres.

“They also noted death of health workers outside isolation centres as well as hazard allowance and reduction of tax/insurance as promised is still the problems faced by health officials.

Labour Business School emphasised the apparent loss of income by businesses and called for the formulation of strategic employers’ engagement protocol to be deployed by union executives.

Joint Health Workers’ Union pointed out the absence of insurance cover for health officials and inadequate community sensitisation.

“Others are absence of hazard allowance; inadequate primary health care centres as well as lack of transportation vehicles for health officials to their workplaces,” the communique stressed.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Okota Rotary Club empowers women, donate ICT, first AID kits to schools



Rotary Club of Okota, District 9110, says it has empowered five women, donated ICT equipment, fully kitted first aid boxes and supply note books to some schools in Okota Community area of Lagos State.

Its President, Ronke Jones-Adewale, said that the donations were part of the “Three in One” project embarked upon by the club.

It was tagged: “Basic Education and Literary Project”.

Jones-Adewale said items donated by the club to the beneficiaries included complete ICT system unit with all in one printer, universal power supply.

In the empowerment programme, each beneficiary woman got Ex large insulated cooling container, plastic cooler, five cartoons of soft drinks, five cartoons of bottled water and stipends for ice blocks.

She said that the basic education and literary project comprised fully kitted first aid kits and 1,500 note books to six schools within Okota and Oke-Afa areas.

The club president said that donations to the schools were continuous programme.

She said that the first aid boxes had been introduced in some schools in line with the Motto of Rotary: “Doing Good in the World, Service To Humanity”.

The club leader said that four out of the six schools had been enjoying the club’s programme before two other schools were added.

Jones-Adewale said that the complete ICT system unit with all in one printer and universal power supply were donated to two secondary schools in Okota, which made the total number of beneficiary schools to be eight.

She said that the donation was in tandem with what Rotary International stands for all over the world.

Jones-Adewale said that basic education was one of the six areas of focus as the bedrock and future of any nation in the 21st century.

“Regarding the empowerment, the impact is definitely going to be felt by the beneficiaries, their dependants and invariably the community.

“The items of empowernment will shore up the income base of the beneficiaries, the entire value chain involved in delivering the service, while also providing satisfaction to the consumers in whichever community they might be operating their businesses,” she said.

Commenting, Mr Jide Oderinde, the club Secretary, said that the effect of COVID-19 on Rotary Club generally had been very disastrous.

Oderinde said: “It has really held us back from doing our normal things, but still we went ahead under the leadership of a determined president.”

The secretary said that both international and at the centre, most of our meetings are now virtual, like this programme that we did today, we supposed to have done it long time ago, this Rotary year, the president is so committed.

“I salute her courage she went ahead and make sure that she accomplished all her set goals, because we are rounding up the Rotary year.

“But we thanked God, we are law abiding organisation; we don’t go contrary to the government directive.

“But, we put all the recommendations laid by government into place during the programme, we ensure we maintain social distances,” he said.

Oderinde said that the club president had completed her set goals.

Earlier, Mrs Tiitlope Okubadejo, a former President and Chairman Service Project, said that Rotary delighted to see people expressing their joy and satisfaction about what the club has been able to do for them.

Okubadejo said all these we have done today were just to ensure that we affect the lives of our community positively.

“Whenever we rise up between the Okota Community that we are from Rotary, we are happy the way people welcome us, because they know that we are positively impacting their lives,” she said.

A beneficiary, Mrs Bolanle Ariyo, said she was very happy that the club did not wait for the big things to happen before empowering them.

Ariyo said that she did not know anybody from the club, but was nominated to be among the beneficiaries, adding that what was given to her would go a long way, especially at this point in time.

She prayed that none of the club members will be victims of COVID-19.

Also, Mrs Mojisola Adeyoyin, the Headmistress, Low Cost Primary School II, responding on behalf of all beneficiary schools, said that the club had just addressed one of the major needs of pupils in her school.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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China’s Mammoth Foundation donates COVID-19 testing equipment to Latvia




China’s Mammoth Foundation in Shenzhen donated key laboratory equipment to a biomedical research center in Latvia on Friday.

Professor Janis Klovins, director of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center, who received the BGI Fire Eye lab equipment on behalf of the center, described the donation as a very important addition to the center’s capabilities in COVID-19 research, specifically viral sequencing.

According to Klovins, with the new equipment, the center’s capacity could be raised to over 200 samples per week from the current 32.

Klovins believed that the Chinese equipment will be highly useful in other COVID-19 research projects as well. It is expected to help with automation of nucleic acids extraction and improvement of work efficiency of Latvia’s virus detection.

Among the 115,461 COVID-19 tests performed in Latvia so far, 1,085 tests have come back positive, according to the latest data released on Friday by the Latvian Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The donation was coordinated by the Chinese Embassy in Latvia and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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