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Evacuation: 322 Nigerians from United States to arrive in Lagos

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Evacuation: 322 Nigerians from United States to arrive in Lagos


The Federal Government say 322 Nigerians, who departed New Jersey in the United States are expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on Saturday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama made this known via his verified twitter handle on Saturday.

According to him, the returnees are expected to arrive at 2.30 p.m.

“Evacuation Update: 322 Nigerians are on board @flyethopia ET 509 which departed Newark, NJ, USA, for Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

“The evacuation flight is expected to arrive Lagos this afternoon, Saturday, 4th July 2020, at 2.30 p.m,” he stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the evacuees are returning following the Federal Government’s guidelines on evacuation.

They will be expected to undergo testing on arrival and proceed on a 14-day quarantine and self-isolation where necessary.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Lizzie Agbaji: 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

COVID-19

LASG holds consultative forum for Y2021 Budget, adopts holistic approach to COVID-19

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The Lagos State Government says it is engaging a holistic approach to restarting the state’s economy and re-imagining its operations toward surviving the COVID-19 pandemic in its year 2021 budget.


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.

“The state government has increased commitment to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to help them during and post COVID-19.

“We intend to adopt consolidation and tactical redirection to areas that would help employment, food production and security, particularly to overcome the effects of COVID-19.

“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.

“In view of the dwindling revenue of the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) due to the pandemic, LASG is committed to growing the state’s IGR to sustain its developmental projects.

“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.

He added that the state also focussed on agriculture as plans to finish the Rice Mill at Imota and undertake a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concession afterwards was underway.

“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)

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General news

Limit your speed on highways to avoid crashes, FRSC urges motorists

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The Ogun Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned motorists to limit their speed while on the highways in order to avoid unnecessary road traffic crashes.


The FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Mr Ahmed Umar, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Ota, Ogun.

NAN reports that Umar was reacting to the accident that occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, leading to the death of three persons, with seven others injured.

NAN also reports that a commercial Mazda bus, marked FUF 109 ZD, coming to Lagos from Kwara, had, on Tuesday, had a burst tyre at the Youth Camp area, on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Umar said that the accident could have been averted, if the commercial bus had adhered strictly to the speed limit.

“The FRSC wants to appeal to motorists to install speed limit devices in their vehicles to regulate and prevent tragedy, when accidents occur,” he said.

The sector commander enjoined motorists to refrain from putting used tyres on their vehicles so as to avoid unnecessary mishaps on the road.

Umar, however, condoled with the families of the accident victims and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the losses.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19

Resumption: Lagos schools comply with COVID-19 protocols

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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.

Attah told NAN that the students would resume as boarding students during WASSCE.

”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)

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Education

Robogarden set to empower education stakeholders on coding technology

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A digitised educational platform, Robogarden, has urged the Federal Government to imbibe personalised learning on coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and skills in the Nigeria’s educational system.


Its President, Dr Mohamed Elhabiby, made the plea at a webinar on Tuesday, in Lagos, saying this would ensure future of the new economy was dependent on successful and sustainable digital transformation processes.

According to him, this will be achieved through skills, education technology, personalised learning and artificial intelligence.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar focussed on Personalised Learning, AI and Education Technology, Digital Transformation Skills, Challenges, Today and in the Future.

Its theme was: “Rights and Voices of Youth: Teach Coding for the Youth.”

Elhabiby said there was the need to prepare children from an early age for the new reality of professions and mastery of digital technology to address shortage of skill and enhance competitiveness in the future of jobs.

He said that Robogarden was created to engage and provide code execution support for persons of different races and culture, irrespective of language.

The founder of the garden also urged the government to stimulate plans to provide tools to enable individuals, communities and companies to become active innovators.

“The job market was already undergoing profound digital transformation, and so required professionals with an increasing knowledge of technology.

“Such qualifications would result in better income distribution, reduction of social inequality, unemployment and crime rates.

“Skills for the future in 2030 include: digital literacy and computational thinking, creative and innovative thinking, and cognitive flexibility.

“We are highly relying on technology and skills should be matching to them.

“It is important to be digitally literate to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and data science.

“Today’s job vacancies may not be the same as tomorrow, and that is why humans should be able to adapt to the changes happening around them in the digital space.

“Currently, every country has issues with shortage of skills and high unemployment rates globally.

“Skills plus education is the new future, while the new literacy is coding,” he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Ngozi Ogoke, Chief Executive Officer,  Ovana E-learning Limited, said her organisation, in collaboration with Robogarden,  focussed on bringing transformation to the Nigerian digital economy and Africa as a whole.

According to her, the webinar serves to offer scholastically unique technology driven solutions that would lead to critical thinking and achievement of excellence in higher learning outcomes.

“We aim to create bright new opportunities for individuals and the entire community as we are in a new world of technology and

digitalisation,” Ogoke said.

Responding, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the country had opened its doors to technological training with regards to robotics.

Adamu, represented by Mrs Muna Onuzo-Iyanam, Special Adviser, Technical Planning, Research and Development, Ministry of Education, said he was committed to upscaling training of teachers and students toward achieving digital transformation in the education space.

“Our schools will become more compliant at introducing AI, robotics, coding and technological learning to prepare our children for the future and advance the future of jobs,” he said.

Also at the webinar, Dr Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, the President, National Association of Proprietors of Private School, pledged her support and commitment to ensuring public schools’ participation in technological personalised learning.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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

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