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Ngige urges African Regional Labour Centre to adopt active policies to tackle unemployment



Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, has urged member countries of the African Regional Labour Centre (ARLAC) to adopt active policies and programmes to tackle unemployment and poverty in the region.

Mr Charles Akpan, Deputy Director and Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry in a statement said the minister said this while  speaking at the 46thsession of the ARLAC with the theme, “Strategic Objective on Social Protection” was  held over the weekend in Kampala, Uganda

The minister said that the approval of the active policies and programmes would tackle unemployment and poverty in order to check the consequential social tension and violent crimes.

Ngige however said that that poverty reduction would easily be achieved by harnessing the efforts of various agencies and departments in charged with the strategic objective of social protection.

According to him, Africa is replete with tales of worrisome level of child labour, human trafficking and exploitation, irregular migration, youth restiveness, terrorism, armed banditry and arson among others.

“Addressing this as the theme of this high level symposium could not have therefore come at a more auspicious time, “he said.

He however, called for the faithful implementation of the pro-people development model as articulated by the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guy Ryder during the International Youth Conference in Abuja last year.

He noted that the pro-people development model includes the pro-employment and economic policies, policy investments in education and skills, promotion of youth entrepreneurship and employment.

He said that others are labour market policies as well as respect and protection of the rights of the young persons.

Ngige said that the Buhari administration has relatively achieved a sync with the ILO’s development template through the strategic operationalisation of an integrated employment and empowerment strategy in the national development paradigm.

“The pro-employment macroeconomic policies for job creation ought to be a multi-sectoral agenda of government, traversing ministries and agencies.

“This is exactly what the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently doing by setting clear targets on key economic sectors with high propensity for job creation.

“This is in the areas of agriculture, mining, works and housing, trade and investments as well as in special agencies like the National Social Investment Programme as the fulcrum for job creation,” he added.

The minister also noted that notwithstanding the challenges, Nigeria has increased focal investment in education and skills acquisition in order to contain the mismatch between educational skills and demands of the labour market.

“We are working to align the prerequisites of the labour market with the capacity of the labour force in a way to create synergy and ease responsiveness to innovations.

“Our Ministry of  Labour and Employment is currently spearheading  the shift of emphasis from white collar job to the growing  opportunities that abound in the blue collar market in line with the changing world of work,” Ngige said.

He further said there was an urgent need for member countries to direct energy on the implementation of the decent work priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals as articulated in the Abidjan declaration of the 14thAfrican Regional meeting, held in Cote d’Ivoire  in December 2019.

He equally, commended the government of Ethiopia for the supportive and coordinating role it has been playing for the Africa group since last year Nigeria has been in saddle as the chair of the Government Group of the ILO Governing Board.

“We hope that as we approach the next elections into the governing board which is due in June 2020, those that will take over the mantle of representing the continent will work harder, perform better and be able to surpass the achievements of the present board,” he pleaded.

He finally called for support for Nigeria and other African countries already nominated for positions in the ILO Governing board in the election scheduled for June.

NAN reports that aside being the serving chairman of the government group of the Governing Board, Nigeria was also nominated in 2019  by the African group for election as a titular representative in the Governing Board, a position it last held over a decade ago.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza





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Joan Nwagwu: 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]

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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.

“These include security agencies, medical and health workers, power and energy staff, fire service, media, telecom operators and fuel tankers,” he said.

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
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: Delta deputy speaker donates food items to communities



Mr Christopher Ochor, the Deputy Speaker, Delta House of Assembly, on Monday, distributed food items as palliatives to the 10 wards of Ukwuani Local Government area of the state.

Ochor said while distributing the food items that it was aimed at cushioning the effect of the state government’s stay-at-home order.

Ochor, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Emmaunel Enebeli, distributed items such as rice, noodles, tin tomatoes, beans and vegetable oil, among others.

He called on the recipients to ensure that the items got to the most vulnerable and the less-privileged within their respective communities, warning that they should not play politics with the items.

The deputy speaker also said that political affiliation should not be attached to the sharing of the items.

Some of the beneficiaries commended the lawmaker for the gesture extended to his constituents at this critical time.

They said that the palliatives were most welcome, as they were seriously needed to help in cushioning the effect of the stay-at-home order in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that a traditional chief, Mr Christopher Nwajiogoli, received the food items on behalf of Umutu community.

He prayed God to replenish the deputy speaker in million folds to enable him do more.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Stomach infrastructure, best solution to COVID-19 lockdown – Fayose



The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose, on Monday, called on governments at all levels, religious bodies, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to focus on strategic implementation of “stomach infrastructure.”

Fayose, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti through his Media Aide, Mr Lere Olayinka, said that his advice should be taken seriously.

According to him, hunger can kill faster than Coronavirus.

The former governor, who added that the human and economic losses, occasioned by the pandemic, would be mind-boggling, stressing “in the face of all these, leaders should remain as leaders and stand up for their people.”

He hailed the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his pro-activeness and unrelenting efforts in the management of these challenges as well as his transparency and interface with the people.

Fayose particularly called on the Federal Government to emulate the Lagos State government and do more in the area of prompt information dissemination to stem the tide of misinformation in the country.

The statement read in part; “Regrettably, we all did not plan or ever imagined this level of attack, occasioned by COVID-19.

“Same has humbled the World Powers, not to talk of Third World countries like our country, Nigeria.

“The human and economic losses seem endless and in the face of all these, leaders must remain leader and stand up for their people.

“We all know the sit-at-home is inevitable; governors and council chairmen as well as churches and mosques that have received allocations and offerings must forget projects and embark on full scale strategic implementation of ‘stomach infrastructure’.

“It is time to give back to the people, as nothing else will matter now. Yam, cassava, garri and others can be bought locally and distributed, while bakers will be glad to be patronised to bake for people for free daily, while it lasts.

“This will help to enforce the government’s stay-at-home order effortlessly. The Federal Government will be making billionaires if the so-called palliatives and physical cash is managed by wrong hands.

“I appeal to the general public to show understanding, knowing that our challenges outweigh our income as at today.

“Today, I am sure what is on the minds of ordinary Nigerians is: ‘on stomach infrastructure we stand’. This, if well implemented, will no doubt help to enforce the stay-at-home order effortlessly.”

NAN recalls that Fayose was an apostle of stomach infrastructure while in office as governor for second term and made it the hallmark of his administration, despite the huge criticism that greeted the idea.

Edited By: Francisca Oluyole and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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