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Health

Enugu records 3 new COVID-19 cases

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The Enugu State Government on Monday announced that the state has recorded three new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 261.

Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, Commissioner for Health, in a statement issued in Enugu, said that the ministry confirmed the new cases in the update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“The number of cases on treatment is 205, number of cases discharged is 50 and number of confirmed COVID-19 related deaths is six.

“The cumulative number of samples since the outbreak is 1,350,” he added.

The commissioner urged residents to always observe all the precautionary measures prescribed by NCDC, adding that COVID-19 is real.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

Maureen Ojinaka: 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

General news

Enugu airport runway for completion Aug. 30 – aviation minister

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The ongoing rehabilitation work on the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be completed on Aug. 30, aviation minister Hadi Sirika said on Tuesday in Enugu.

Sirika told newsmen after inspecting the ongoing works at the airport that the rainy season was largely responsible for the delay in the completion of the runway.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far.

He said that when completed, the runway would be one of the best in the country.

“The Federal Government wanted to make a very quick intervention in this procurement, to ensure that the runway is completely rehabilitated for safety,” he said.

Sirika said that the outbreak of COVID-19 hindered the progress of the work, but expressed happiness that the contractors were back on site.

“We are back to site and we have made tremendous progress. What is left is little, we have completed up to 95 percent of the job.

“Work on the perimeter fence and the road are ongoing to ensure that this airport, including the Air field lighting, is delivered for day and night operations.

“You know we are now in the rainy season and just like COVID-19, the rainy season is also a monster in construction or procurement of this nature, ” he said.

Sirika commended the contractors for the good job done so far.

”I am very happy at the rate at which they are going and I am very confident that this procurement will be delivered on Aug. 30; this, of course, is with due consideration to the weather, ” Sirika said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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Metro

Enugu airport reopens Aug. 30 – Sirika

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The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, says the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu will reopen for normal business on Aug. 30.

Sirika gave the assurance at the airport in Enugu after inspecting the progress of ongoing rehabilitation of the runway and upgrade of other infrastructure, aiming toward international standards, on Tuesday.

According to him, the project has reached between 90 and 95 per cent completed.

The ministet said the Federal Government planned to make a quick intervention in the procurement to ensure dilapidated runway, which was a threat to the safety of operations, is fully dealt with.

”We were on course, but unfortunately, COVID-19 came and the workers took to their heels to ensure that they remain safe.

”We are back on site and we have made a tremendous amount of progress.

”We are about 90 to 95 per cent completing this job.

”However, the final wearing course is where we are on the runway while the perimeter fencing and the road is going on.

”Also, other works,including airfield lighting for day and night operations and for it to truly answer its name – Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu,” he said.

The minister said the rainy season was also a monster in the procurement of the project.

He, however, commended the contractor and the consultants for doing extremely well with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

”I am happy with the progress of work.

”I am very confident that this procurement will be delivered on the 30th August, 2020.

”This, of course, is with the due consideration to the weather, but with the help of God, we will deliver this procurement on 30th of August for use with most of the associated works.

”I can say authoritatively that this runway is one of the best if not the best in the country at the moment.

”Turningpad of this runway is made of concrete.

”Unlike our other airports where turning pads are made of asphalt and they don’t take the beating that we give to them due to the weight of the aircraft but this one is made of concrete,” he said.

Sirika said the government would soon set up cargo terminal that would generate economic activities around the city.

The minister said Chinese terminal, which was about 60 per cent completed at the airport, would also be delivered as soon as possible.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Health

Coronavirus: NGO distributes 10,000 soap bars to households in Enugu

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An NGO, South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO), says it has distributed over 10,000 soap bars to about 1,400 households to enhance handwashing practice in Enugu State.

Dr Stanley Ilechukwu, Executive Director of the NGO, made the disclosure to newsmen in Enugu on Tuesday.

Ilechukwu said that the distribution was part of the Soap Drive Initiative of SSDO meant to ensure more people imbibed the habit of handwashing as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to check the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said that the NGO targeted key areas within three Local Government Areas in the state, which included Enugu South, Nkanu West, and Nkanu East.

According to him, the distribution was done successfully through the organisation’s network of  volunteers spread across the state.

The executive director said that it had been proven scientifically and also backed up psychologically that “it takes 21 days to cultivate a habit such as regular handwashing.

“With this in mind, each household was given six tablets of soap with the intention to see them consistently wash their hands for over a month and hence cultivate the habit of regular handwashing.’’

He explained that that the Soap Drive Initiative was also aimed at getting SSDO volunteers to various parts of the state while they created awareness on COVID-19 as well as making provisions available for families that could not afford soap.

“The Soap Drive Initiative also afforded a unique opportunity to educate the beneficiaries on the importance of personal hygiene, health education as well as the recommended WHO handwashing procedure, which included a seven-step and 20 seconds procedure.

“Beyond hygiene, it was also a time to equip the beneficiaries with the right information on COVID-19, which includes understanding the pandemic and necessary safety measures,’’ he said.

Mrs Grace Okereke, one of the SSDO Volunteers, said that the residents were always happy with the soap gift.

“You could literally see their faces come alive when they were presented with the soaps.

“Most of the beneficiaries of the free soaps were more than willing to learn more on how to protect their families from the pandemic using the soap,’’ Okereke said.

Mrs Chioma Anikwe, a resident in Amaechi community in Enugu-South, thanked SSDO for the soap and enlightenment on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I appreciate them for enlightening me on COVID-19, presenting tablets of soap to me and their caring way of teaching me and my grandson on how to wash our hands properly,’’ Anikwe said.

KSN/

Edited  by  Kevin  Okunzuwa and Isaac Ukpoju

 

 

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Defence/Security

Police arrest another couple for causing grievous harm to daughter in Enugu

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The Police Command in Enugu State has arrested another couple for allegedly causing grievous body harm on a 12-year-old daughter in Enugu.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, said in a statement on Tuesday that the couple was arrested on July 12, in Okwojo village in Ngwo community in Udi Local Government Area(LGA)of the state.

“The Command  wishes to inform the general public that it has arrested one Effiok Umo and his wife, Nnenna Umo, both of Okwojo village in  Ngwo community, for allegedly abusing and assaulting their 12-years old daughter (name withheld), thereby inflicting her bodily harm.

“The arrest is sequel to information received by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, from National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) office in Enugu.

“Consequently, the commissioner directed the Divisional Police Officer, 9th Mile Police Station, to ensure the suspects are arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

“The Commissioner, however, frowned at the unbecoming occurrence of acts of child abuse, assault and inflicting of grievous bodily harm on children.

“The state police boss has vowed to prosecute the suspects to serve as deterrent to parents/guardians, who intend or have been committing such inhuman acts that infringes upon the personality and fundamental human rights of children, especially susceptible ones.

“He further warns parents/guardians to desist from maltreating their children/wards at slightest provocation, but instead exercise due caution while punishing them for acts of wrongdoing to avoid causing them bodily harms and/or lifetime physical and psychological trauma,’’ he said.

The spokesman said that preliminary investigations revealed that the couple were used to abusing and assaulting the child for little or no justifiable reasons by using dangerous objects on her.

According to him, these dangerous objects included- sticks, electric wires, heels of shoes and so on to mercilessly flog, hit and/or beat her up.

“The height of it happened on July 10, at about 10:30 p.m. when the wife, who is the child’s stepmother, abused and assaulted her to the extent of inflicting her bodily harm on the excuse that she dozed-off while slicing onions required for food being prepared the said night.

“This led to neighbours, who have found their act of inhuman treatment of the child unbearable, reporting the matter to the police through the NHRC,’’ he said.

Ndukwe advised residents of the state to promptly report any person(s) found committing acts that impinge on the well-being and fundamental human rights of vulnerable children to the nearest police station.

“They are to call the command’s hotlines on: 08032003702, 08075390883, 08086671202 or 08098880172,’’ he said.

The police had on July 2, arrested one Mrs Ifeoma Ozougwu, 24 and her husband, Mr Jude Ozougwu, 40, for allegedly maltreating and causing grievous body harm to a 10-year-old house-help.

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Defence/Security

FRSC confirms 5 died, 2 injured in Enugu road crash

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said that no fewer than five persons lost their lives in a fatal accident on the Nsukka-Obollo road in Enugu State.

The FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Mr Ogbonnaya Kalu, gave the confirmation in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Enugu.

Kalu said that the accident occurred at about 4 pm. on July 10 at Kpokpo junction, by Micho Link Filling Station, on the ever-busy road.

He said that FRSC officials took two other seriously injured victims of the accident to the hospital.

“At about 4:20 pm., the command got a distress call from a passerby, who informed the Unit Commander at Nsukka of a fatal crash at Kpokpo junction, by Micho Link Filling Station, on the Nsukka-Obollo road.

“Two patrol teams were promptly drafted to the scene.

“On getting to the crash scene, it was observed that the road traffic crash was as a result of wrongful overtaking by a green Toyota Sienna, with registration number KMK 273 SC.

“The wrong overtaking led to a head on collision with a multiple-coloured truck (vehicle registration number not found), loaded with fertiliser.

“In the process of the accident, all the five occupants of the Toyota Sienna vehicle died, while the driver of the truck and his conductor were taken to the hospital.

“The FRSC personnel from the Nsukka Unit Command took them all to Daughters of Divine Love Hospital, Eha-Alumona and deposited their corpses at the hospital’s morgue,’’ he said.

The sector commander, however, said that road obstruction caused by the accident had been cleared, with normalcy and free flow of traffic restored in the axis.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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General news

Philanthropist donates palliative items to Old People’s Home in Enugu

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A United States-based philanthropist, Dr Felix Ugwu, has donated palliative items to the inmates of the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Elderly in Awkunanaw in Enugu.

Ugwu, who is a Management Consultant, made the donation on Sunday to mark his birthday anniversary.

According to him, there is no better way to give back to the society than to assist the indigents.

“This is the first time that I am marking my birthday in Nigeria. So, I decided to spend the time here in order to dine with the inmates.

“I delivered a few of the items they needed in line with the state government’s protocol of sharing with the poor,” he said.

Ugwu urged well-placed Nigerians to always render helping hands to people that were economically down.

Responding, the Sister-in-Charge of the Home, Ellen Creed, said that the celebrator provided the Sunday lunch of the 50 inmates as well as other items including diapers.

Creed said that the gesture had lifted much burden off their shoulders as the facility depended on the benevolence of members of the public.

She said that it had been difficult to take care of the inmates since the lockdown began as their benefactors had been few and far in-between.

She said that considering the age range of the inmates which was between 65 years and 100 years, “we need more of diapers and food items to take care of them”.

Creed said that food items needed include semovita, wheat, vegetable oil, red oil, tomatoes, onions, crayfish, including disinfectants and detergents.

“We are beginning to have visitors now that the lockdown has been eased,” she said.

Creed said that all the inmates were doing well and observing the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) safety protocols against the coronavirus pandemic.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Agriculture

Prices of foodstuffs soar in Enugu major markets

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The prices of some food items have continued to soar in Enugu major markets midway to rainy season.

A market survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria in some major markets in Enugu on Saturday showed that prices of foodstuffs had increased by about 45 per cent.

At Ogbete Main Market food section, a bag of white and yellow garri, which cost N14,000 and N16,500 respectively in April, now sold at N18,000 for the white while the yellow goes for N21,000.

Also a big bag of onions which previously cost N12,000 now goes for between N19,000 and N22,000 while fresh pepper which was previously sold at N8,000 a bag now goes for N10,000.

The survey revealed that the prices of yam tubers had gone high in all the major markets as a sizeable tuber of yam, which previously cost N400 now goes for between N700 and N900, depending on the specie of yam.

A garri dealer at Ogbete market, Mrs Lucy Azubike, said that the increase in price of garri was due to its off season as planting of cassava was ongoing in the state.

“Before March, garri was in abundance but is usually costly during the rainy season because it is cassava’s planting season.

“We do not usually practice preservation of agricultural produce which makes food to be much in the market all year round. So the prices of foodstuffs tend to increase during every planting season,” Azubike said.

Mr Ebuka Njoku, a yam seller at New Market, also attributed the price increase of yam to its scarcity as a result of its planting season.

Mrs Ngozi Nwosu, a resident of Achara Layout, said that because of the high cost of yam, she had switched to sweet potatoes, saying that potato was more affordable.

The survey also showed that the price of palm oil had also increased as 20 litres of palm oil now sold at N14,000 as against N9,500 three weeks ago.

Miss Joy Ikem, a Palm Oil Dealer at Garki Market, said that many dealers were hoarding palm oil as palm oil fruits were gradually going off season. 

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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General news

Rains: Enugu Govt suspends fixing of potholes

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The Enugu State Government has suspended the ongoing fixing of potholes in the urban metropolis of the state due to frequent rainfall.

This is contained in a statement signed and made available to newsmen by the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Greg Nnaji, on Friday in Enugu.

Nnaji explained that the action was as a result of the frequent rainfalls during the asphalt paving operations and preparatory works.

This include cutting, removal of unsuitable materials, filling and compaction with stone base as well as priming with bitumen.

He disclosed that the stability of the pavement can be hindered by pockets of rain water when trapped in the base course.

The commissioner therefore appealed to the residents to exercise patience as works on repairs of potholes will recommence after rains.

”Once the rains recede and enable the workers to carry out necessary pavement evaluations on sections already completed,” he assured.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

NSCDC arrest suspected human trafficker in Enugu

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Command in Enugu has arrested a suspected human trafficker, Mrs Okafor Chioma, who specialise in recruiting under-aged girls to run prostitution cartel.

CSP Danny Iwuchukwu, spokesman for the command, said this in a statement on Thursday in Enugu.

Iwuchukwu alleged that the suspect was recruiting underage girls aged between 12 and 16, and sending them to brothels in different states for prostitution.

He said that she was arrested in Enugu on June 18 following intelligence report on her nefarious activities.

Iwuchukwu said that the suspect, a widow who hailed from Nsugbe community in Anambra State, confessed to the crime and said she had been in the business for over four years.

“On their method of operation, she confessed that she works with a syndicate that brings the girls to her.

“And that her job is to give the girls out to different brothels where they would be prostituting and be remitting proceeds to her.

“She confessed that before giving the girls out, that she normally enters into an agreement with them.

“She said that the agreement varies from person to person putting into consideration how beautiful a particular girl is, while some pay her N50,000, others pay as much as N100,000.

“She further said that the agreement usually last for six months after which the girls will be freed.

“She, however, pleaded for forgiveness promising to stop the business,’’ he said.

Iwuchukwu said that the command has made contact with some of the girls (victims) recruited into the business by the suspect and they were willing to testify.

He, however, said that investigation was ongoing to track down some of the syndicate working for the suspect.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

 

 

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