The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has put business activities on hold at the popular Oyingbo Market over sundry environmental infractions.
The Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said in a statement on Thursday that the infractions included indiscriminate refuse dumping and refusal to patronise Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators.
Others were roadside trading and poor hygienic practices resulting in serious environmental problems in the area.
Gbadegesin said that an abatement notice and several warnings issued to the traders yielded no result, thus necessitating the closure.
He said that the market would be reopened when traders began to comply with government’s rules and regulations by shunning indiscriminate refuse disposal and patronising assigned PSP operators.
The LAWMA boss appealed to other markets in the state to imbibe the culture of effective waste disposal as markets whose activities were found detrimental to the health and environmental well being of the populace would be shut down until further notice.
According to him, efforts of the state government to enthrone sustainable environment are being undermined by some individuals who will rather dump refuse on unauthorised locations, hence the need for total enforcement.
He warned that the grace period for environmental defaulters in the state had expired, as there would be total enforcement against all forms of illegal and reckless waste disposal capable of degrading the environment and posing health hazards to residents.
”The act of indiscriminate refuse disposal in the city poses grave danger to public health and economic growth.
”Before now, we adopted moral suasion as a tool to persuade residents to shun indiscriminate dumping.
”In spite of our efforts, some people have bluntly refused to turn a new leaf. Now we have commenced total enforcement to put defaulters in check,” Gbadegesin said.
The LAWMA boss noted that the Enforcement Unit of the agency had been mandated to work round the clock to clamp down on all environmental infractions capable of derailing efforts of the authority toward environmental sustainability in the state.
”Section 115 (4) and 116 part IV, Environmental Sanitation Nuisances and Litters, as well as Section 81, Part III, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) of Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 prohibits dumping of waste at undesignated places, which attracts specified sanctions,” he said.
Gbadegesin said that the agency recently published a public notice in major national dailies, stating various environmental offences and appropriate sanctions to defaulters.
”The state’s laws are quite clear on the prohibition of illegal refuse disposal. It shows zero tolerance for environmental infractions and violators would be duly sanctioned to serve as deterrent to other residents,” he said.
Gbadegesin called on residents to support efforts of the state government to establish a cleaner and healthier environment in Lagos by ensuring they bagged and containerised their wastes appropriately, as well as patronising assigned PSP operators.
He said that LAWMA would continue the distribution of waste disposal bags under its Blue Box Initiative, for residents to sort their waste and dispose appropriately.
The LAWMA boss said that residents should promptly contact the authority using the toll-free line , for complaints and relevant information.
Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Third term Resumption: Private schools have right to charge fees – Minister
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, says that private school owners are entitled to charge fees for third term as schools start resuming for exit classes.
He was reacting to a question on if it was proper for private schools to charge third term fee since the period the exiting students would spend in school was short.
The minister said that private school owners were running a business venture and not a charity organisation.
He added that “for public institutions, we can’t tell you that we charge school fees, as most of our schools are free. Public schools are free and vary from state to state.
“But when you go into a contractual relationship with a school owner, a school owner is a passionate person, but is also a business person. He or she is not running a charity organisation, they may be charitable in their approach, but it’s not charity.
“So, it’s important that you appreciate that a private school is entitled to charge fees for the work they do. The person that runs a school may be passionate about education but will still charge fees.”
“We expect that throughout the period, students are working and learning.
“We don’t just want them to be in school and be playing, this is exit class, it says a lot about the six years spent in secondary school.
‘”All examinations are a test of outcomes. We will want our teachers to continuously engage the students,” he said.
Nwajiuba emphasised that schools resumption was for exit classes at the moment, adding that some schools had even opened on Monday, Aug. 3.
He said “I monitored developments in Lagos State, where some schools opened and cleaned the classes and the environment, while some other states will open as the week proceeds.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria records 288 new cases, total now 44,129, with 896 deaths
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
The agency said that eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 896 across the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and 13 states.
It stated that Lagos topped the list with 88 new cases, while the FCT reported 25 fresh infections.
Among others were Kwara, 33, Osun, 27, Enugu, 25, Abia, 20, Kaduna, 17, Plateau and Rivers, 13 each, Delta, 10, and Gombe, 8.
The agency stressed that states with fewer cases include Ogun, 4, Oyo, 3, Katsina, 1 and Bauchi, 1.
According to it, till date, 44,129 cases have been confirmed, 20,663 cases discharged and 896 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the health agency added that washing of hands frequently with soap under running water was one of the best ways to stop the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 from person to person or after touching contaminated surfaces.
“#TakeResponsibility to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.
“This election period, #TakeResponsibility by adhering to guidelines to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, including Physical distancing, Use of hand sanitisers and Use of face mask,” it advised.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is only limited to clinical trials.
“Please #TakeResponsibility and avoid self-medication,” it stressed.
The agency warned that a high percentage of those infected with COVID-19 did not show any symptom of the disease.
“So, to protect yourself and everyone around you, wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow all guidelines from the NCDC website,” it said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
School feeding programme gulps over N500m during Lockdown – Minister
The Federal Government expended about N523.3 million on school feeding programme during the lockdown against the coronavirus pandemic.
Farouk made the revelation against the rumours and speculations going around one of our key interventions of the government – the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
She said that the programmed was modified and implemented in three states following a March 29th, Presidential directive.
“It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.
“The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.
“The ministry, in obeying the Presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations’, remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.
“So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.
“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states, as pilot cases,’’ the minister said.
According to her, each takes home ration was valued at N4,200 and that the figure was arrived at with proper consultation.
“So, each household is assumed to have three children.
“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day.
“The meal costs N70 per child.
“When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month.
“Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration’.
“The agreement was that the federal government will provide the funding while the states will implement.
“To ensure transparency in the process, we partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.’’
“TrackaNG monitored and gave daily updates validating the programme.
“In the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 households in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 households impacted between May 14, and July 6.
“If 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount will be N523,273,800.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)