Mr Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Works and Housing, on Friday, said the Federal Government would construct weigh bridges across the country to checkmate excessive overloading of vehicles plying federal roads.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that a weigh bridge uses electronic or digital monitor to determine the weight of goods being conveyed by a vehicle.
The minister made the disclosure in Osogbo when he visited Gov. Gboyega Oyetola on Friday.
Aliyu said he was in Osun to verify federal roads being constructed in the state, as part of his projects verification tour of five states.
The minister explained that the weigh bridges were necessary in order to maintain the lifespan of federal roads, which were often damaged by overloaded articulated vehicles.
He said any driver caught with excess load would be sanctioned and made to pay fine while the excess load would be impounded.
The minister, however, said the most important thing was for Nigerians to learn to value and maintain infrastructural facilities provided to them by government, which spend so much in providing them.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was very committed to bringing roads to life in the country.
“Mr president’s commitment is very clear, he wants to give life to infrastructure in the country.”
Aliyu appealed to Nigerians to bear with the government as it strives to complete the over 500 ongoing road projects all over the country.
He disclosed that the government, would in 2020, concentrate on roads that had reached 75 to 80 per cent completion stage.
In his address, Oyetola commended the federal government for the roads being rehabilitated and constructed in the state and for supporting the state in other areas.
Oyetola said the problem with most of the infrastructure being put in place by the government was lack of maintenance, adding that roads must also be constructed according to standard, for it to last.
He noted that the federal government budget for road construction was too small, and advised it to explore the Public, Private Partnership operations.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed
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COVID-19: Gov. Wike sets aside N2bn to empower farmers, fishermen in Rivers
Rivers Government has set aside N2billion for its Farmers/Fisherman Empowerment Programme targeted at mopping up and distributing food items to the people of the state.
Gov. Nyesom Wike, who made this known in a press conference on Monday in Port Harcourt, said that the committee would purchase all agricultural products produced in the state for distribution to the less privileged.
He said that the measure would ensure that the people of Rivers people did not suffer during this trying period.
He said: “We are going a step further to ensure that no one complains of hunger in our State during this trying period.
“The State Government has therefore set aside the sum of N2billion to buy off all agricultural products produced in the State from farmers and fishermen.
“Our goal is to ensure that no agricultural product like yam, garri, plantain, palm oil and fish leaves our State during this period.
“While the farmers and fishermen will make their profits, the less privileged will have enough food supply for their families.’’
Wike said that the committee set up by his administration would ensure effective implementation of the new policy.
“To ensure that the appropriate logistics for effective implementation of this policy is carried out to the letter, government will set up a 33-man Committee.
“Members of the Committee include Dr Tammy Danagogo, Secretary to the State Government (Chairman), Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communication and Dr Fred Kpakol, Commissioner for Agriculture (Secretary).
“Others are Mrs Victoria Allison, Mrs Tina Woluchor, Mrs Meg Onumbu, Mrs Gloria Akor, Mr Erastus Awortu, Mrs Christiana Amadioha, Mrs Kate Mbanah, and Chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas in Rivers.”
He said that the Committee would be inaugurated on April 7, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike said that funds for the State Government’s intervention in COVID-19 were captured in the 2020 budget under contingency funds.
The governor said that all states of the federation deserved grants from the Federal Government, adding that the release of the grants to states should not be tied to the number of confirmed cases since states like Rivers are working to curb its disease.
Edited by Ephraims Sheyin
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COVID-19: I didn’t dare govt, police over closure of churches in Enugu – Archbishop Chukwuma
The Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province (Anglican Communion), Most. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, said he did not dare government and security agencies on closure of churches in Enugu State over Coronavirus pandemic.
The archbishop made the disclosure in Enugu on Monday after a closed door meeting with the state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmad AbdurRahman at the Government House.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the cleric was alleged to have held church services on Palm Sunday in some of the Anglican churches in the state.
NAN gathered that the bishop allegedly said that “the Province will not shut any of its branches over Coronovirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic”.
According to him, I was very embarrassed to read the story in the newspaper and the new media; the story is untrue and misleading.
“All I said was that the church is not the building and that the church is the people praying; and people who are church members cannot be shut down in praying in their various homes”.
Chukwuma acknowledged that it had already been agreed in Enugu State that all churches should be closed down and we have been observing it”.
He commended the state government’s proactive safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, but maintained his stance that the closure of churches did not mean that bishops and priests could not go into the church and pray.
“The building may be shut but the church is not closed because people are praying in their various houses but are not allowed to come to the church building to pray, except the priests and the bishops.
“I never dared the government, I never dared the police and the police never came to me to say stop this or that because I never had any sort of congregational service.
“Therefore, I want to let the people, Nigerians and the whole world to know that it is not true that I dared the government or that I dared the police”.
In his remark, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmad AbdurRahman, expressed delight that the cleric had cleared the air over the media reports.
The commissioner encouraged the people to obey the preventive protocol and other safety measures adopted to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, in the overall interest of the public and country.
Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu
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COVID-19: Kwara Committee announces two confirmed cases
The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 on Monday announced two confirmed cases of the infection in the state.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the committee’s spokesman in Ilorin.
The committee said the announcement followed the state government’s receipt of the official confirmation of test results from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control .
It said one of the cases was a UK returnee, while the other was the wife of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital patient, who died on Thursday.
The committee said the state government would brief the press on the development on Tuesday.NAN)
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Ifeyinwa Omowole
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COVID-19: FG mobilises NAFDAC, SON to speed up certification of essential items
The Federal Government is mobilising the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to speed up certification for essential items needed for COVID-19.
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, disclosed this in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Julius Toba-Jegede, in Abuja on Monday.
Adebayo said that the emergency effort by his ministry would not affect the quality of the products, currently in high demand.
He said that in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the two organisations would also help identify and augment the list of essential goods and services.
He listed the items to include: hand sanitisers, face masks, needles, goggles, gloves, Sodium Hypo Chloride and Digital Thermometers.
He added that the ministry is also engaging some indigenous car manufacturers on the production of ‘Made in Nigeria’ ventilators.
“As we brace ourselves up to respond effectively and thoroughly to this crisis, we have been engaging with the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, SON and NCDC to identify and augment the list of essential goods and services.
“We are working with SON and NAFDAC to ensure the acceleration of the issuance of certificates of standard of essential items- without sacrificing the quality of these items.
He said the ministry was engaging indigenous car manufacturers to prepare their operations to begin the manufacture of ‘Made in Nigeria’ ventilators, adding that it was a critical medical equipment in the fight against COVID-19.
Adebayo said that the ministry had also established an emergency operation centre, to help monitor the real-time status of the transportation and delivery of essential goods to Nigerians.
He said the move would “cut down on the difficulties currently being faced by manufacturers, transporters and distributors of essential commodities across the country”
He further urged Nigerians to remain calm and desist from panic buying, assuring that the pandemic would soon end.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole
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COVID-19: Ogun records 2 new cases
Ogun Government says that it has recorded two new cases of the Coronavirus in the state.
Gov. Dapo Abiodun made this known on Monday evening while addressing journalists in his Iperu residence.
According to him, the two new cases are from Obafemi Owode and Yewa South Local Government Areas of the state.
He noted that the new cases were “significant” as both never had any recent travel history or close contact with any positive cases so far.
Abiodun, however, said they have been moved to one of the isolation centres in the state.
He added that the state had begun identifying other contacts they might have met.
“It is important for us to protect ourselves and our community from this invisible but dangerous virus by observing all the guidelines and shed off any carefree attitude that some may have been adopting towards the virus. Covid-19 is real and it is here in Ogun.
“Particularly when we know that these two new cases have no recent travel history or contact with any positive case,” he said.
Abiodun further said that as part of new measures to combat the spread, the state would provide a “special welfare package for frontline health workers in view of their higher risk of exposure to the virus while caring for others.”
He said plans were underway to take delivery of a mobile testing laboratory just as the molecular laboratory would be ready soon.
He added that a drive-in test centre would be provided for residents to drive their cars in and be tested inside their cars.
“We’ll continue to review our measures and strenghten our preparedness to combat the Corona monster on an ongoing basis,” he said.
The governor commended the health workers for their “uncommon commitment and vigilance” just as he thanked several donors that had risen to the occasion in recent times.
He urged members of the public to adhere strictly to social distancing and observe strict hygiene.
Edited By: Janefrances Oraka/Wale Ojetimi
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Gov. Lalong directs total lockdown for fumigation in Plateau
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has directed total lockdown in the state with effect from 12 midnight of Thursday April 9 to 11p.m of Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
Lalong made the announcement in Jos on Monday at the Government House during a news briefing.
He said the lockdown was to enable government embark on fumigation in Jos-Bukuru metropolis and all the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
“During this period, there will be no movement of any kind except for staff on essential duty.
He said government had purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), monitors, infrared thermometers, oxygen and other essential drugs, adding that testing of COVID-19 would commence in Jos in a few days time.
“In line with the Federal Government directive, we propose to establish a 300 bed treatment center to be located at the Riyom General Hospital and the state National Youth Service Corp Orientation Camp,” he said.
The governor said that the state recorded 48 suspected cases which were all found negative while 25 were discharged from self isolation and eight still under surveillance.
He said the state in collaboration with partners and the federal government, was making efforts to address challenges arising from COVID-19 in the state and provision of palliatives for indigents.
Lalong appreciated organisations like Grand Cereals, the United Bank of Africa (UBA), NASCO Group of Companies and Mee Palace for their various contributions of food stuff, hand sanitisers and enlightenment materials among others to the state to control the spread of the virus.
He also commended individuals who were using the COVID-19 Plateau platform in reporting incidence directly to the situation room, saying it has enabled government to take timely action.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that Mr Pius Akubo, was the first individual to donate money to the state COVID-19 fund, through N500,000 cash donation.
Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Ali Baba-Inuwa
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COVID-19: Youth group distributes sanitisers to Okada riders in Kogi
A socio-political group, Kogi Youth Peace Advocate (KYPA) has distributed sanitisers and medical consumables worth N800,000 to commercial motorcyclists (Okada riders) and tricycle (Keke-NAPEP) operators in Lokoja to curtail the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Abdullai Ahmed-Rufai, Director-General and Founder of the group made this known in Lokoja on Monday while speaking with newsmen shortly after the distribution exercise.
He said that the (COVID-19) pandemic was real.
He urged that all hands must be on the deck to stop its spread in the society, saying that the group targeted the commercial motorcyclists and tricycle operators.
Ahmed-Rufai said that a survey carried out in Lokoja revealed that most Okada and tricycle operators plying the roads hardly observed the personal hygiene and sanitising directives.
He noted that they lacked sanitisers, thus endangering the lives of their passengers.
Ahmed-Rufai said that the group in the effort to complement the move by the government to curtail the spread of the pandemic, had engaged in the distribution of sanitisers and other medical consumables to the operators.
“Okada and Keke-NAPEP operators in any society take care of the middle and lower class in the society in terms of transportation needs. The spread of coronavirus can be effective if this vital sector is neglected.
“We saw that lacuna in the sector in the rampaging global COVID-19 battle. That is why our group moved in to assist to prevent the spread of the disease through that sector, he said.
Ahmed-Rufai said the group had been on the streets of Lokoja for two days (Sunday and Monday), distributing hand sanitisers to the operators.
He said that the group would continue the distribution as soon as more funds were sourced from interest groups.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that KYPA with membership from the three senatorial districts of the state has been in the forefront of the campaign against cultism, violent extremism and drug abuse among youths in Kogi.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi
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Face mask: C/Rivers orders fees payment by defaulters
Following the low compliance level with the “no mask, no movement order” in Cross River, Gov. Ben Ayade, has issued directives that defaulters should be arrested and fined N300,000.
Mr Christian Ita, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the governor in a statement on Monday, said any vehicle with its passengers not wearing mask should be impounded and released after payment of the fine.
He directed security agencies in the state to ensure total adherence to the new directive.
“Such impounded vehicles, which must be towed to the secretariat of the COVID-19 task force, should only be released after the payment of N300,000 fine by the owner of the vehicle
“Individuals, no matter their status in the society, who are found in public without nose masks, should be arrested on the spot and quarantined for 14 days.
“All appointees of government, with the exception of the expatriates, performing one function or the other at the Cross River State Garment Factory are hereby relieved of such duties with immediate effect.
“The appointees are hereby co-opted into the COVID-19 task force”, he said.
He said that the that Mr Joseph Edet, has been appointed the acting Managing Director of the Cross River State Garment Factory with immediate effect.
“An approval for an open ended order for supply of nose masks by tailors in the state to the garment factory to meet demands,”he said
Edited By: Edith Bolokor
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Plateau: Operation Safe Haven gets new commander
Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), a military task force established to maintain peace in Plateau, has got a new commander, in person of Maj.-Gen. Chukwuma Okonkwo.
Okonkwo, who paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Simon Lalong, expressed his commitment to building on the existing structure established by his predecessor, Maj. Gen. Augustine Agundu.
The commander called for the support of the state government and other critical stakeholders to prevent violence in the state.
Earlier in his remarks, the outgoing commander thanked the governor for the support given to him since he took over operations of OPSH in 2018.
Agundu said that the organisation had succeeded in building the confidence of Plateau residents to support its operations and embarked on many projects in the state.
“I am fulfilled as an outgoing commander of OPSH, because we were able to undertake projects in Plateau and other coverage areas,” he said.
Agundu said that OPSH was able to complete a multipurpose hall and two blocks of classroom in a secondary school in Mangu Local Government area, adding that approval had been sought to construct a new medical outpost in Riyom Local Government area.
“The medical post will serve the people of Riyom and an accommodation block for resident medical personnel,” he said.
In his remarks, the governor thanked the outgoing commander for helping to restore peace in the state, saying that he came when the state was in deep crisis.
The governor said that Agundu handled criminals without prejudice to status, saying that the introduction of civil community relations by the outgoing commander was laudable.
Lalong wished him well in his new position as a Research Fellow at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, where he was expected to make his own contributions to improving the operations of the army.
He welcomed the new commander and pledged his support in the discharge of his duties.
NAN reports that OPSH, with its operational command in Plateau, is in charge of securing the lives and property of the people of Plateau, Bauchi and part of Southern Kaduna.
Edited By: Fela Fashoro and
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