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Economy

Former commissioner urges dialogue between NASS, Executive over 774,000  jobs’ recruitment

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Former commissioner urges dialogue between NASS, Executive over 774,000  jobs’ recruitment


Dr Paul Okorie, former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport in Ebonyi, has called for dialogue between the National Assembly and Executive to resolve the proposed public sector jobs’ recruitment issue.

 

Okorie also a former Commissioner for Environment made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki.

 

NAN reports that the National Assembly on Monday announced the suspension of implementation of the proposed 774,000 public sector jobs’ recruitment aimed at cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The suspension followed alleged disagreement between Mr Festus Kyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour over the implementation modalities of the programme.

 

According to the ex-commissioner, the 774, 000 proposed jobs will lift many Nigerian youths out of poverty and equip them with skills to become self-employed.

 

He said that the programme was introduced by the Federal Government to alleviate economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

He noted that dialogue remained the most effective mechanism in resolving any dispute among the three arms of government in a democracy.

 

Okorie explained that it was the constitutional responsibility of the executive to execute laws made by the legislature, implement programmes and policies of government for the smooth governance of the country.

 

“There is a clear-cut separation of powers as provided by the constitution.

“The legislature is saddled with the responsibility of law making and oversight of executive activities; the judiciary interprets laws while the executive arm implements, execute government programmes and policies.

“In the present instance, the National Assembly through a budgetary provision approved the proposed job programme; they will be over-reaching their powers by seeking to be part of the implementation process.

 

” It is not the duty of legislature to implement governmental programmes and the constitution is clear on that,” the ex- commissioner said.

 

He, however, said that since there was already friction and altercation between the two arms, the best way to resolve it was through dialogue.

 

“Dialogue is the best way to manage any crisis and mitigate possible breakdown of law and order.

 

“The two arms should avoid muscle-flexing, come to a round table and seek amicable solution to the problem,” Okorie said.

 

ODO /

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

Douglas Okoro: 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

Education

Resumption: Unity schools’ Principals in Lagos assure parents, guardians of students’ safety

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The Principals of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, and Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, have assured parents and guardians of safety of their children and wards as they resumed.


Agada and Yakubu-Oyinloye gave the assurance in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, on the resumption of schools by the exiting students of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country.

The students were resuming to write their examinations after a long break due to the lockdown and closure of schools following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

NAN also reports that the schools had been shut following the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education since March, as a result of the ravaging pandemic.

The Federal Government after due consultations with other key stakeholders, agreed to reopen the schools only for the existing classes of the Senior Secondary School 3 and the Junior Secondary School 3.

This is to allow the SSS 3 students to participate in the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Agada said: “First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing our lives, the children, our parents and all other stakeholders. We have also been looking forward to receiving them.

”I also want to seize this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Education for the assistance rendered so far in order to make this resumption possible.

”Yesterday, the entire college was decontaminated, ranging from the classrooms, hostels the laboratories, everywhere, by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.

”We want to assure our parents that there is no need to panic, as our lives are in God’s hands but we will do our best and God will continue to protect us.”

According to him, the college has set up a committee called the “COVID-19 Guidelines Enforcement Committee”.

He said that the committee was made up of dedicated teachers that would be going round during the classes, the dinning halls and hostels to ensure that the students maintain the safety protocols.

Agada added that already,  messages had also been sent to the parents and guardians to also advice their children and wards against any form of gatherings or contact activities such as playing of football or games that would bring them together.

“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left, and so, we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.

”By tomorrow, full lecture will commence. We are fully prepared. The timetable is out and the teachers are very ready more than ever before to hit the ground running,” he said.

On the part of the management, the principal said that they have also put certain things in place.

“First, since it is only the SS3 students that are coming back, we have prepared hostels and spread them to all the hostels that hitherto, accommodated SS1, 2, 3 in the college.

”So, currently, we are not having more than 12 students in a room.

“Secondly, on the issue of classrooms, we have 30 of it at our main campus here, for the senior school.

“The SS3 students are coming in soon and these ones will be occupying 19 classrooms at the JSS section of the college, as against the 10 they used to occupy before now.

”All these are means of ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and also we have sanitisers, even customised ones, that is the pedal one.

“And graciously, where we procured some of these equipment from, the company is also coming in to assist us by giving us automated dispensers, like you see at the airports and other places,” Agada said.

He added that the college would also be mounting about 15 of such at the main campus and another 15 at the annex for the Junior Secondary School.

”We have also worked on our water, as we recently dug another borehole to expand our water reticulation system.

“The hostels too, we  have worked on the hostels,  the bunks, the broken down ones have been repaired, the classroom desks, we have also refurbished them.

”So, as the students are coming, we are sure that there is enough desks, bunks, space and water and all other necessary facilities that would ensure their safety and comfort.

“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left  and so we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.

“Again, another measure we adopted to reduce the crowd is to allow the borders in two houses, to be checked in first. We have four houses. By tomorrow borders in the other two remaining houses will be checked in,” he said.

The principal added that for now, only the borders were being checked in.

He said parents of some day students were also applying to be accommodated as boarding students.

The principal cited difficulty of accessing the roads to the college, following the closure of the 3rd Mainland bridge as a huge challenge.

”We have considered them, because we have the space.

”Our advice, therefore, to our parents is to remain hopeful and assuring that God who has kept us all these while, is still fully in control, and we must look unto Him and have faith in Him.

”It is our prayer too that our students will all finish their examination successfully in good state of health and will all return home to their parents safely,” he prayed.

Also, at the Queen’s College, Lagos, its Principal, Dr Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, took NAN Correspondent round the college premises.

Yakubu-Oyinloye said: “We have put all the guidelines and protocols in place to ensure that our students are safe when they resume and all through the period of their stay here.

“You can see the sitting arrangements in our classes. We do not have more than 20 students per class with their seats placed two metres apart from each other.

“Names of students per class have been pasted by the entrance of each of the respective classes.

”We have also fixed automated hand sanitisers in all the classes, including the foot pedal sanitiser at the gate.”

According to her, instead of using the 12 classes that were designated before now for SS3 students, 34 more classrooms, including those for the SS1 and SS2  have now been converted for tluse of SS3 students to ensure social distancing.

Yakubu-Oyinloye added that the same measures also applied to the hostels.

The principal said that the school management, in collaboration with the PTA had fumigated the hostels and all other sections of the college.

She said that already, the Federal Ministry of Education, also in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, had decontaminated and disinfected the entire college.

”We have also serviced our water treatment plant as well as wash our tanks. In addition to keeping social distancing, we will also be staggering our break periods as well as our meal time.

”We have also designated a building as an isolation centre in the college, should there be any case of high temperature, before contacting the appropriate authorities.

“On the part of the teachers, they have been fully sensitised and equipped.

“In fact, teachers who will have no business on campus are not allowed to come around. They can do their jobs at home.

“In the same vein, all returning SS3 students must also come with at least five masks and must wear their masks before they can be checked in.

“They must also ensure that they come with their personal effects including cutleries as sharing is not allowed,” Yakubu-Oyinloye said.

The principal commended a set of the Old Girls of the college for donating 68 white boards for each of the classrooms in the college, adding that already another set of the old girls are set to donate four interactive boards to facilitate teaching and learning.

She pleaded with parents to impress it on their children and wards to ensure that they always adhere strictly to the safety guidelines.

NAN reports that the resumption of the JSS 3 students of the Unity Colleges in the state had been moved to Aug. 10.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Police warn private owners against opening schools to all students

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The Police Command in Osun has warned private school owners in the state planning to reopen school for all students, under the cover of partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations, to desist from such action.


The police command in a statement by its Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola in Osogbo on Tuesday, said any private school owner found reopening school for all classes would face the full wrath of the law.

“The command has been reliably informed that some private school owners are planning to reopen schools for all students under the cover of the partial reopening to exit classes for the purpose of writing examinations.

“The partial reopening applies only to schools that have registered for WASSCE and to students in exit classes; students in SS3 and JSS3 classes who will be sitting for the examinations, beginning from Aug. 17, 2020.

“The Federal Government has not approved the reopening/ resumption of schools for all students.

“Therefore, any private school found operating under the cover of the partial reopening of the exit classes will face the full wrath of law,” the police warned. 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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COVID-19

New York’s health commissioner resigns over COVID-19 handling

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New York’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Oxiris Barbot, has resigned over alleged under-utilisation of the department’s “incomparable disease control expertise.”


“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been.

“Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work.

“The city would be well served by having them at the strategic centre of the response not in the background,” Barbot said in her letter of resignation.

This confirms speculation of disagreement between the Department of Health and the city administration over alleged handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The resignation came after Mayor Bill de Blasio, stripped the department of the responsibility of COVID-19 contact tracing, and gave it to the hospital management agency.

This triggered complaints from officials of the department who felt the mayor made a wrong call by relieving them of their traditional responsibility.

Barbot’s replacement was immediately named as Dr Dave Chokshi, who was the Principal Health Adviser to former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Reports say New York’s Coronavirus contract tracing programme has come under criticism in recent weeks over complaints by contact tracers about lack of coordination and poor working conditions.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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

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