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Ex-Gov. Alao-Akala congratulates Dare, says he’s a result-oriented technocrat

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Appointment

By Akeem Abas

Ibadan, Aug. 22, 2019 Former Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State has commended the appointment of Mr Sunday Dare as the Minister of Youths and Sports by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement he personally signed and made available to Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Ibadan, Alao-Akala expressed optimism that Dare would excellently deliver in his new role as Minister of Youth and Sports.

According to him, “President Buhari’s choice of Dare as a federal Minister is very laudable.

“He is not only a politician but also a technocrat of international repute who will bring to bear, his rich pool of experience to galvanise the needed support for Mr President’s Next Level Agenda,” the former governor, who is a chieftain of APC in Oyo State, said.

Alao-Akala said that Dare had optimally delivered in his previous public service assignments, saying he had no doubt that he possessed the required capacity to help move Nigeria to the next level of economic prosperity.

“I know him to be a result-oriented person; that fanaticism will be his strongest weapon as a member of the federal cabinet under President Buhari.

“I urge him to give his best in tackling the increasing rate of unemployment bedeviling the country, knowing fully well that the ministry of Youths and Sports is very sensitive.

“The success of his ministry is undoubtedly the success of Nigeria,” he said.

The former governor also congratulated other ministers from the south-west, adding they all had credible track records of performance.

He urged them all to do the Yoruba nation and Nigeria proud in their national callings.

Alao-Akala called on the people of Oyo State and the state chapter of APC to support Dare in prayers as he assumes his new duty post as a federal Minister.

Foreign

Tokyo Governor Yuriko says Games could be streamlined

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Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said here on Thursday that discussions are underway to streamline the Olympics and Paralympics.

Japan’s broadcaster NHK quoted Yuriko as saying, “The people of Tokyo and Japan will need to show understanding for the games to be held. To gain that support we are considering what needs to be streamlined and simplified.”

She said the metropolitan government has already held meetings to discuss the matter.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, pushed back a year due to the coronavirus, is scheduled to open on July 23 next year with the Paralympics to follow on August 24.

The Japanese Yomiuri newspaper reported on its front page on Thursday that organizers are considering taking several countermeasures, including mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, to make the games safer to hold.

The opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics could also be scaled back, Yomiuri said.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Enugu Govt announces 9 new positive COVID-19 cases

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The Enugu State Government says it has recorded nine positive COVID-19 new cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 27.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, announced this in a statement issued on Thursday in Enugu.

Obi, who corrected the misinformation from the last update, said that the last announcement that gave the total of 19 was in error.

The Enugu State Ministry of Health wishes to correct the misinformation from its last update.

“It was announced that the total number of cases in Enugu State was 19, with six active cases and 13 discharged.

“However, an error from the reference laboratory was quickly detected and a case that was reported positive, on further investigation, was reconciled and confirmed negative,” he said.

According to him, the update on COVID-19 cases in the state is that there are three newly confirmed positive cases in the state, the previous day, and six newly confirmed cases late evening of Wednesday (June 3).

He added that another previously positive case has responded to treatment, tested negative and discharged.

“Consequently, the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Enugu State at the moment is 27 (13 active and 14 discharged, no death),” the commissioner explained.

Obi said the patient remained in quarantine for the period of clarification of the result.

“The quickly repeated test helped to avoid, for the individual, the experience of being wrongly admitted into an isolation and treatment centre,” Obi said.

He added that prior to this update, the state had recorded 18 cases, including five active and 13 discharged.

The commissioner further explained that case Number 19 was a 55-year-old male, from Enugu East Local Government Area, with no positive travel history.

According to him, Case 20 is a 17-year-old male from Udi Local Government Area, who had been exposed to an individual that had returned to Enugu briefly for a burial ceremony and had returned to Delta State where he tested positive for COVID-19.

Case 21 is a 23-year-old female also from Udi LGA who had also been exposed to this same burial attendee as above that travelled to Enugu from Delta State, who returned and tested positive.

Case 22 is a 25-year-old male from Enugu East, with no travel history.

Case 23 is a male from 9th Mile in Ngwo, Enugu North LGA, who came into Enugu from Imo State a week ago.

Case 24 is a female from Enugu North LGA.

“Case 25 is a 45-year-old male contact of case 19, with a history of international travel to an undisclosed country.

Case 26 is a 66-year-old male from Enugu South LGA and a recent returnee, a few days ago, from Onitsha, Anambra State.

“Case 27 is a 55-year-old female university lecturer with a history of exposure to someone with symptoms of COVID-19,” Obi said.

The commissioner said that it was pertinent to inform the public at this stage that community transmission was gradually being established in the State.

“The Enugu State Government continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the State Ministry of Health also continues to treat its existing cases, respond to alerts, carrying out contact tracing and following up on suspects and probable cases.

“As the social directives of the Federal Government and the Enugu State Government gradually ease, the public health advisories of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Enugu State Ministry of Health, essentially remain and should be adhered to,” he advised.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

French gov’t launches contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID”

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Photo taken on June 3, 2020 shows the contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID” on a mobile phone in Paris, France. French government launched on June 2 “StopCOVID,” a contact-tracing smartphone app that could warn people voluntarily using it if they come into contact with a COVID-19 carrier. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

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Libya’s UN-backed government forces take over Tripoli International Airport

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Forces of Libya’s UN-backed government on Wednesday announced taking over the former International Airport in the south of Tripoli from the rival eastern-based army, as the armed conflict between the two parties continues.

“Our brave forces completely freed the Tripoli International Airport and are now pursuing the fleeing forces of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army) towards Qasr bin Ghashir in the east of the airport,” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement.

The spokesman added that the UN-backed government’s forces have launched ten airstrikes on the eastern-based army in the airport.

The UN-backed government’s forces on Wednesday launched an operation to “free Tripoli International Airport.”

For more than a year, the eastern-based army has been trying to take over Tripoli and topple the UN-backed government by leading a military campaign.

The fighting killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others, despite repeated international calls for cease-fire.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Lagos govt. to reverse Land Use Charge — Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government will soon unveil a reform that will include the reversal of the Land Use Charge (LUC) to the pre-2018 rate, Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Oluwo has said.

Olowo disclosed this on Wednesday, during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first year in office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

He said that the state government had to review the increase in land use charge assessment to accommodate the agitations of residents and to reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it related to LUC.

”As we are aware in 2018, there was an increase in LUC rate and at the same time a revaluation of properties; this twin-shock had a sporadic increase in LUC assessment.

”The soon to be revealed reform will among other things, reverse the rate to pre-2018 rate,” he said.

The commissioner said that the intention of the state government was to keep economic activities of the state going.

He said that this was without necessarily causing any untold hardship that would further aggravate the present financial hardship confronting all sectors of the state’s economy.

According to him, the pre-2018 charges which will soon come into effect will reflect current realities to reduce burden on citizens.

”The reform also considered a flexible land use charge payment and efficient customer service management to ensure prompt issue resolution,” he said.

On procurement process, Olowo said that the review was simplified to reduce the bureaucracy in the state procurement process and accommodate small businesses in accordance with the Procurement Law and Guidelines.

He said that among initiatives put in place in the last one year in the area of revenue optimisation were the deployment of e-tax platform for tax operations.

Olowo noted that there was also administration matters, automation of operations of Lagos Lottery Board and FORCE (Focus On Revenue Creation Everywhere), among others.

The commissioner said that the state achieved 106 per cent performance in first quarter of the year revenue as against budget.

He said that the twin shock of COVID-19 pandemic and the dwindling oil prices which had affected the state revenue necessitated the review of the year’s budget.

”The direct impact of the pandemic is a drop in the state’s IGR and Federal Allocation, which also results in decline of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and increased pressure on income and purchasing power of Lagosians,” Olowo said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Foreign

Tanzanian gov’t to crack down on hiking of sugar price

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Sugar

Dar Es Salaam, June 3, 2020 Tanzanian Authorities said on Wednesday it will launch a crackdown on sugar traders who have been hiking price.

Japhet Hasunga, the Minister for Agriculture, said the crackdown followed complaints from the public that traders sold the commodity higher than the indicative price set by the government.

“The crackdown will target one shop after another and traders, who are found for hiking price of sugar, will face the full force of the law,’’ said Hasunga.

“If there are traders who think the crackdown is a joke, let them continue selling the commodity at a high price.

“They should not blame anyone when they face the music,’’ added the minister.

On April 24, the government announced indicative price of the commodity, which is 2,600 Tanzanian shillings (about $1.12) a kilogramme, after sugar price had gone up.

The rise in sugar price was allegedly attributed to traders, who had hoarded the commodity in warehouses, to create an artificial shortage.

Hasunga said Tanzania’s sugar demand stood at 470,000 tons a year, while the country’s five sugar processing factories had the capacity of producing 378,000 tons in 2019.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Yemen’s government reports 20 new COVID-19 cases, 419 in total

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The total number of COVID-19 cases in Yemen’s government-controlled provinces increased to 419 on Wednesday, as 20 new cases were confirmed.

The Yemeni Health Ministry said in a brief statement that during the past 24 hours, 20 cases of COVID-19 were detected in a number of provinces under the control of internationally-recognized government.

The ministry said that the number of recoveries in the government-controlled areas increased to 17 since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus on April 10.

Also, the government announced that the death toll from the deadly respiratory disease climbed to 95 in different areas under its control, including the southern port city of Aden.

The Yemeni government has taken several measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, including imposing a partial overnight curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Lockdown: Gov. Oyetola orders reopening of worship centre in Osun

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Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun on Wednesday ordered partial reopening of worship centres in the state for two weeks.

Oyetola, in a meeting held with Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Osogbo, said the decision to reopen worship centers partially was in response to the leaders’ request.

He also said that the reopening was due to Federal Government resolve to lift ban on religious activities.

The governor said the state government had prepared guidelines that must be followed to forestall possible spread of the virus as a result of the reopening of worship centres.

Oyetola said further actions by the government would be determined by the effect of compliance level to the guidelines by churches and mosques during the two-week period.

He also said that only regular church services of not more than one hour and maximum of two services would be allowed.

”Jumat service including khutbah (sermon) and prayers must not exceed 20 minutes.

”Vulnerable individuals such as those from age 65 and above and people with underlying ailments such as tuberculosis and diabetes were to continue worshipping at their respective homes,” Oyetola said.

He also directed that all church and mosque premises be fumigated to ensure that the environment are free of virus and other infectious diseases.

“Worshipers are to keep reasonable space in churches and mosques and no worship centre must be filled to capacity during any service and solat, respectively.

“Attendance at any service or solat must not exceed one-third capacity of the church or mosque.

“There should be provision of washing facilities or sanitisers for worshipers before entering the churches and mosques.

“Also, use of face mask is important, sharing of worship devices such as microphones and other musical gadgets should be discouraged. Water and food distribution during service should not be allowed.

“Worshippers must avoid exchange of banters and social distancing must be strictly observed.

”Windows in churches and mosques should be opened during worship for ventilation.

“Signage and notices should be placed at strategic locations to remind worshippers of best hygiene practices to be observed,” the governor said.

He also mandated churches and mosques to provide thermometers to check temperature of worshippers, adding that whoever has high temperature should not be allowed into the worship centres.

The governor added that vigils and children activities remain suspended, and that worship centres with support of security operatives should set up taskforce to enforce compliance with measures put in place by the government.

He, however, appreciated the leadership of both religions for their cooperation and understanding since the lockdown began in the state.

“We seek your continued cooperation so that we can together save our people from this deadly outbreak,” the governor said.



Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Health

Oyo Govt inaugurates committee on management of dead persons

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Oyo State Government on Wednesday inaugurated a twenty-man committee saddled with the responsibility of ensuring proper management of deceased persons in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was made up of professionals and stakeholders from various sectors and was drawn across geopolitical zones of the state.

The committee inauguration ceremony was held at the conference room, Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The committee is expected to look into issues that could affect the dignity of deceased citizens and to ensure that communities in the state are safe from hazards relating to improper disposition of dead bodies in the society.

In her remarks during the inauguration, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, said the committee would articulate necessary policies, processes, which were in line with international practices to the management of deceased citizens of the state.

Adeosun stressed that the initiative would embrace appropriate management of the dead and assist in achieving harmony between the bereaved family and the community at large.

She further said that the state Corona law 2018 would become operational while government would pay attention to “public education on death management, contemporary burial methods and all other aspects of management of dead persons.

In this COVID-19 era and beyond, the committee will ensure that utmost dignity and proper respect are accorded to victims of disease outbreaks.

“The families and communities will be treated in a professional approach to avoid any type or kind of stigmatisation,” the SSG said.

Adeosun also said the state government would not deviate from the path of progressive and innovative policies that would address the need of the people of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, while speaking at the event, said that the arrangement would enable the family of the departed souls have access to whatever the deceased left behind through the support of the state government.

Oyo State is the first to officially inaugurate dead management committee in the whole Federation and this is a signal of advancement level of our dear state.

“The dead will have their full honour, value and their relatives will equally have legal access to their inheritances, if everything is properly documented,” Bello said.

The Chairman of the 20-Man Committee, Dr Uwom Eze, said the committee would work together with relevant agencies, ministries and stakeholders to ensure best dead management practices in the state.

Eze is a Consultant, Forensic Pathologist, University College Hospital, Ibadan.

NAN also reports that the state government equally inaugurated 10 new standard ambulances as part of measures to strengthen health sector and eliminate all form of hindrances that could arise while dealing with emergency cases in the state.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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

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