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Lagos contract coaches protest over non-payment of salary

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Contract coaches under the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) on Wednesday protested at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, over the non-payment of their salaries.

A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who monitored the peaceful protest saw the coaches with placards with inscriptions like “Where on earth will you pay athletes and not pay coaches?”

Some of them told NNN that it was disheartening that coaches who trained athletes for the state were being treated poorly.

The coaches who pleaded anonymity said that the leadership of the Sports Commission should look into their plight.

Another said that the commission had been promising them for a while without any meaningful outcome.

Tunde Bank-Anthony, the Director-General of the Commission, who met with the protesters, however, addressed the coaches, saying that he was just returning from the Accountant-General’s office after discussing their plight.

He said that the coaches’ welfare was paramount to the commission, noting that they would be paid when money was released.

Environment

World Environment Day: Association urges Lagos govt. to create more parks, gardens

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The Association of Lagos Landscapers on Friday called on the Lagos State Government to create more parks and gardens to actualise the state’s ‘Green Alternative’ drive.

The association made the call in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Olusegun Osadare and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The association, which is the umbrella body of horticulturists working with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), made the call to mark the 2020 World Environment Day with the theme: ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’.

An Executive member of the association, Mr Ismail Badejo, said that the association was in total support of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s environmental policies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Badejo said that the association was working hard to ensure greener parks and gardens in the state; while applauding the numerous national and international recognition so far received by the state.

“The goal and aspiration of the group is to achieve greener parks, gardens and sites as it used to be years ago that earned the Lagos State Government various awards both local and international in the area of environment.

“We call and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to play a vital role by ensuring adequate attention is paid to activities of our supervisory agency.

“There is also need for government to ensure that policies that will promote greenish environment and tree planting to reduce the impact of climate change should be encouraged,” he said.

Badejo also urged the government to take the plight of the association’s workers into consideration, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic by paying their outstanding salaries.

He said that the development could hinder the efforts put into work to maintain a greener Lagos, which could lead to negligence by members.

“The same horticulturists that worked with the state years ago are still around working. Our association is trying its best but government needs to motivate us.

“In the last five years, payment of members of the association has not been regular. This often affected our performances,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the association, Mr Padonu Amosu had earlier encouraged communities to understand the importance of tree planting and to key into the idea of conserving the environment.

Amosu said that tree planting and keeping of gardens were not only for the rich but explained that there were cheaper and available flowering and gardening options for everybody.

He debunked the myth that flowering and gardening was exclusively for the rich.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Sport

Lagos Squash Association cautions players as lockdown eases

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Tomi Falase, the Chairman, Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA), on Friday cautioned squash players that playing the game was still unsafe, even though the Federal Government had eased COVID-19 lockdown.

Falase in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos said that to help everyone to continue to stay active, the warning had become imperative.

He noted that sports like squash, basketball and other indoor games were considered as high risk sports.

Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two (singles) or four players (doubles squash) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball.

The players alternate in striking the ball with their racquets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court.

He explained that players always sweat on the squash court because it was physically challenging, fast and with the enclosed environment within which the game took place, players would inevitably sweat heavily over the course of a match.

Falase explained that due to regular close physical contact between players on the court, the infection could spread readily if any of the players was infected.

He said mostly in squash where two or four athletes were in close contact, if any of them was infected and coughed, the droplet had high chances to be inhaled by other athletes, facilitating viral transmission.

“To emphasise that strenuous exercise induces a much more frequent spitting of secretions and this can further contribute to the COVID-19 spread, particularly if the distancing recommendations are not strictly followed,’’ he explained.

Falase, however, urged caution amid concerns of fresh clusters of cases, saying that precautionary measures must be adhered to strictly to avoid the spread of the virus.

He also noted that easing the restrictions by government did not indicate that the virus no longer existed.

He said because the sports was regarded as higher risk of spreading the virus either within the players or to the general public, emphasis should be on the need for players to focus on maintaining their fitness and practice at home.

Falase urged the players to adhere to safety measures including use of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands.

“The main factors taken into account were the amount of contact between players, the distance between them and the protective measures likely to be put in place to mitigate risks both for training and competitive play.

“Squash is played in a confined space, where close contact is unavoidable; which means players cannot be 2 metres (6ft) apart very often during a game.

“We are looking into possible protective measures for players on court to mitigate the risk of inhaling contaminated droplets and avoiding face touching, which would lower the risk of transmission of the virus,’’ he said.

Falase gave an assurance that the sport would definitely resume but it would take a while because COVID-19 had not gone away.


Edited By: Hawa Lawal/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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General news

Portable water supply: Lagos identifies gaps

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The Lagos State Water Corporation on Thursday  said that the state government had evolved measures that would ensure equitable portable water distribution in the state.

The corporation’s Managing Director, Mr Adekunle Badmus, told journalists that globally there was shortage of portable water supply.

The LSWC boss spoke on the sidelines of  the 11th Olu Awoyinfa Distinguished Annual Public Lecture in Lagos.

The theme of the lecture was “Forming Uncommon Partnership: Solution to Challenges of Developing Nations.“

Badmus said Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was working on bridging water shortfalls in the state while harnessing the benefits of creating other value chains from water.

“We have a master plan in Lagos State which identified how much water is needed. The gap right now is about 500 million gallons. Whereby we are supposed to be producing 700 million gallons, we are only producing about 210.

Lagos State is making water a priority. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has focused on water.

“When he assumed office, he visited all our facilities and he has determined that before the end of his tenure, more people will benefit from safe and portable water in the state,’’  he said.

The managing director said that ongoing projects in the state had shown that the backwash from some water channels contained substances that could be used for fertilizers.

Badmus said that the residents desperation for water supply had led to the proliferation of boreholes in the state, despite the dangers involved in indiscriminate drilling.

The managing director also said that it was imperative for governments in the country to urgently address the water needs, adding that most borehole waters were often polluted due to various factors.

“We need to speed it up, we are still way behind in getting water to everyone that needs to get water. If we continue to delay then our lives will continue to be at risk, because the people who drill boreholes don’t care if the site was a burial ground, dumpsite or an old weaponry.

“Yes, there is usually casing for boreholes but they sometimes crack, there is what we call infiltration that goes into the water,’’ he said.

Badmus added that most borehole waters were contaminated from storm waters, ground waters and other sources which were harmful for human use.

While delivering his keynote lecture, Badmus called on Nigerian leaders to explore capacity of local engineers in addressing the nation’s water problem and other developmental challenges.

He called for partnerships between professionals in various fields to provide scientific solutions to various sectors of the nation’s economy for rapid growth and industrialisation.

According to him, developing local capacity would also remove capital flight and ensure growth of technology in various sectors.

Badmus said that COVID-19 and other current challenges had made the need for partnership with other professional bodies in problems solving inevitable.

“There is enough for everybody to be able to partner and to be able to carry this nation forward. To move Nigeria forward, we have to start to work with each other and bring everybody into the same room and find a way to be able to contribute,’’ he said.

Badmus listed various areas of collaboration in solving societal problems to include agriculture, infrastructure, engineering and other sectors.

He said there was pressure on health facilities occasioned by poor water supply and sanitation while stressing the need for urgent measures with COVID-19 pandemic to better address the problems of water.

“To deal with these challenges in developing countries, we must be innovative and form uncommon partnerships,”  Badmus said.

He said that there should also be uncommon partnerships between Google and pharmaceutical companies, schools and banks to evolve digital platforms for carrying out activities.

Badmus said that there should be uncommon partnerships like the Lagos and Kebbi States LAKE Rice partnership that would be of mutual benefits..

“If we are to rid the developing countries of the many challenges encumbering them, then we must be innovative.

“We must begin to form uncommon partnerships across all sectors, from the health sector to the water supply and sanitation, to building infrastructure, agriculture, banking and so on.

“Uncommon partners will help us to succeed by providing us with capabilities we shouldn’t build ourselves, as well as with fresh insight.

“We should help uncommon partners succeed by creating a mutual relationship which both parties can prosper from,’’ he said.

The lecture, which was organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also featured induction of new engineers and presentation of scholarship awards.

Edited /Wale Ojetimi

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Politics

Lagos discharges 24 more coronavirus patients

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The Lagos State Government says 24 additional coronavirus patients have recovered and have been discharged from isolation centres, having  tested negative twice to the virus.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement on Thursday that a total of 952 patients had now been discharged from the isolation centres.

Good people of Lagos State, today, 24 more COVID-19 patients fully recovered.

“Fifteen males and nine females –all Nigerians were discharged from the Onikan, Gbagada, Agidingbi and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) isolation facilities to reunite with society.

”The patients, four from Onikan, one from Gbagada, one  from Agidingbi and 18 from LUTH isolation centres were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19.

”With this, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos State has risen to 952,” the governor said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

 

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Politics

Lagos govt. reopens religious centres June 19

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The Lagos State Government has announced the reopening of religious centres at 40 per cent capacity, effective June 19.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that congregational worship with 40 per cent capacity would resume for Muslims on Friday, June 19, while Christians would resume on Sunday, June 21.

Sanwo-Olu announced this at State House, Marina, during a media briefing on the update of the management of Coronavirus and the second phase of the gradual easing of C0VID-19 lockdown in the state.

He said that the religious houses were only to run Sunday services for churches and Friday Jumat for Muslims, but barred from vigils and other weekly services.

”As we all know, mass gathering during COVID-19 pandemic can be of serious public health consequences. And there are documented evidence that mass gathering can increase the spread of the virus.

”That is why we will from 14 days time, precisely from the 19th of June for our Muslim worshippers, from the 21st of June, for our Christian worshipers, be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at the maximum of 40 per cent of their capacity.

”We know that these places of worship have different sizes, but even if your 40 per cent capacity is really so large, you cannot have beyond 500, and keeping that 40% maximum capacity is really, really so, so important.

”We will be encouraging people to have more than one service and to ensure that they keep their premises clean, disinfect before another round of worship can take place,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu also said those below 15 years of age and above 65 years old would not be allowed into places of worship, due to their vulnerability to the virus.

He also urged all religious houses to adhere strictly to safety measures like fumigating and keeping the premises clean, making sure worshipers wear face mask before entering, use of sanitiser, among others.

Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State Safety Commission would not only register but would be going round to check level of compliance.

According to him, the state government has the discretion to stop or restrict worship where there is no compliance.

Hotels and hospitality businesses are also free to open, while restaurants will open for take-away services only.

However, gyms, spas, cinema, event centers, night clubs and all other such services remain closed and inter-state journeys remain banned.

Sanwo-Olu said primary and secondary schools would remain shut because the government was still consulting with all stakeholders in the sector.

He added that the government would come up with guidelines for their re-opening in two weeks time, and that the on-line classes for tertiary institutions continued.

Sanwo-Olu said that from Monday, June 8, civil servants on levels 13-14 would resume with their senior colleagues on level 15 and above, while levels 1-12 were still to work from home.

All other guidelines are as announced by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Monday, June 1 and they include: curfew from 10p.m.-4a.m., full re-opening of banks and other financial institutions, offices and business places to operate from 7a.m.-6p.m.

He added that manufacturing companies were permitted to do night shift but to make arrangement for movement of staff.

The governor admonished residents to wear face mask always as the level of compliance on wearing of face mask was not encouraging.

He urged Lagosians to self-regulate or government would regulate them.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Environment

LAWMA reaffirms collaboration with Environment Ministry, stakeholders for cleaner Lagos

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The Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has reaffirmed its collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and other stakeholders to achieve a cleaner Lagos.

Its Acting Managing Director, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, made the disclosure at a media parley in Lagos on Thursday.

Odumboni said the authority had been having continuous dialogue with the Private Sector Participation (PSP) to enable them to achieve the minimum standards.

According to him, they are engaging the PSP on capacity building programmes on agreeable minimum standards before informing Lagos residents.

He said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been working toward empowering PSP to ensure that there was sustainability in environmental management to avoid pandemic in the future.

“We are repositioning the Blue Box Initiative of Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s administration to have an in-depth spread of sorting waste from the source before getting to the recyclers.

“At the moment, we have 20 registered recyclers in 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LGDAs).

“Presently, PSP operation is known in 11 LCDAs, and to cover all the local governments, the authority has decentralised its operation into Central, East and West to move closer to people in the community.

Before the end of August, we should be able to have recycling presence, at least two each, in all the 57 LCDAs,” Odumboni said.

While urging residents to sort their wastes from homes, he pleaded with local government chairmen to create space for recyclable wastes in their communities to enable recyclers to pick them up for usage.

Odumboni said the authority would improve on its mandate to ensure cleaner environment as from 6.00a.m, adding that anyone who noticed any infraction, should contact the Customers Service on 0805990660 and 07080601020.

He said LAWMA would participate more in ensuring that regulation of PSP were done,.

The acting managing director said that the authority would partner with Kick Against Indiscipline, Health Sanitation and others to sanction environmental offenders.

Odumboni appealed to residents to stop patronising cart pushers and endeavour to pay their bills to sustain the operation of PSP.

He commended the state government for providing excellent rehabilitation of the three dump sites.

Odumboni said that the land field had improved from 11 to 20, and increased the turnaround time of truck.

According to him, a total of 500 trips are made daily by the PSP, while the authority is working toward increasing the trips to 850.

He said that the authority would also engage farmers and medical facilities to ensure they complied with the separation of their wastes to avoid epidemic outbreak.


Edited By: Moses Solanke/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Economy

NPA expects 17 ships with petroleum products, others at Lagos Ports

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is expecting 17 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods from June 4 to June 20.

The NPA made the announcement in its publication, `Shipping Position’, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.

According to the NPA, the ships are expected to arrive at the Lagos Ports.

The publication said that the ships contained containers, base oil, bulk wheat, general cargo, butane gas, frozen fish, bulk salt and petrol.

NPA reports that 19 ships had arrived the ports, waiting to berth with containers, frozen fish, bulk wheat, general cargo and petrol.

The company said that 21 other ships were at the ports discharging containers, bulk wheat, general cargo, petrol and frozen fish.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

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Health

COVID-19: Lagos, FCT, Kano, account for 64.2% of total cases, Nigeria records 11,166

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday said that Lagos, FCT and Kano state accounted for  64.2per cent of the total number of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic recorded in the country, 

The NCDC, on its website, said as at June 3, it recorded 348 new cases bringing the total total number of infection in Nigeria now at 11,166.

The NCDC noted that Lagos recorded  5,440FCT 763, while Kano state  recorded 970, which amounted to 11,166, making the two states plus the FCT to account for 64.2 per cent of the total number of infection in the country.

According to the agency, 33 states accounts for 36 per cent of the total infection in the country.

The NCDC said that the new cases take the country’s total infections cases to 11166, out of which 3,329 have been treated and discharged with 7,522 active cases in the country.

According to the health agency’s report, 163 of the new cases were recorded in Lagos, 76 in the FCT and 23 in Ebonyi.

Other affected states were Rivers with 21 cases, Delta, Nasarawa and Niger with eight each, Enugu with six, five each in Bauchi, Edo, Ekiti, Ondo and Gombe, four in Benue, two in Ogun, and one each in Osun, Plateau, Kogi and Anambra.

The NCDC noted that 75 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the country have unknown sources of infection.

It said that this was normal for a respiratory virus and suggested ongoing community transmission in the country.

NAN reports that the health agency has said that for families with loved ones abroad or in another state, who have passed on due to complications from COVID-19, transporting the remains is a tough process.

The NCDC has developed a guide to ensure efficient transportation in compliance with regulations.

The interim guidance is based on what is currently known about COVID-19.

The virus is spreading through contact with contaminated respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or from contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.

It said that Funeral directors and mortuary personnel were less likely to contract COVID-19 from deceased persons infected with the virus if they adopt appropriate infection control procedures and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The health agency said precautionary strategies should be used to minimise public health risks and to prevent further spread of the disease.

“Contact and droplet infection control precautions should be used when handling deceased bodies confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

Wear appropriate PPE at all times without contaminating environmental surfaces,” it added.

The NCDC noted that for transport and storage, the body must be placed and secured in a bag or wrapping in a manner that prevents leakage; double bagging may be required to achieve this.

“The body bag should be labelled COVID-19 – Handle with care. Avoid unnecessary manipulation of the body that may expel air or fluid from the lungs.

“Embalming of a body confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 is not recommended,” it said.

It noted that family viewing of the deceased may occur; however, family members should avoid any contact with the body.

The agency stressed the need to maintain the recommended social distance from families and friends of the deceased.

 


Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Politics

2,000 Lagosians benefit from ”Eko Cares” initiative — Official

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The Lagos State Government said that a total of 2,000 vulnerable residents have benefited from its ”Eko Cares” initiative.

Aderemi Adebowale, Special Adviser to the governor on Civic Engagement, disclosed this on Wednesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first year in office.

Adebowale said that the initiative was part of the social inclusion programme of the Sanwo-Olu led administration.

She said that the office of Civic Engagement introduced and organised a financial assistance programme with business component tagged, ”Eko Cares”, with the theme – ”Go Forward, Grow Lagos”.

”The programme, aimed at empowering the vulnerable ones in the state, involves provision of financial assistance, up to N20,000 per beneficiary.

”This money is to be disbursed partly in cash and partly in the form of micro-investment.

”In the first phase of the programme, some Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies were on hand to provide instant investment in micro-distributive trade by supplying their goods to the 2,000 beneficiaries.

”The essence of this is to have a populace that can feed themselves, contribute to the development of the state and promote a stable and secured society,” the special adviser said.

On efforts at stemming the spread of COVID-19, she said the governor had approved the production and distribution of 100 units of handwashing stations at markets, bus-stops, hospitals and other high traffic public places within the state.

Adebowale said that these handwashing stations were innovatively made by local fabricators with regular supply of dispensable soap and reticulated water supply (hand free).

According to her, the deployment of these handwashing stations is aimed at fostering the culture and practice of promoting good hygiene among the citizenry, toward curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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

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