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NSE inaugurates Mowe branch as 79th member

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), led by its President Mr Adekunle Mukuolu, has inaugurated the Mowe chapter in Ogun as the 79th branch of the body.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the inauguration of Mowe branch was held at the Redeemer’s College of Technology and Management, Redemption Camp, Mowe, Ogun.

The inauguration of the branch was supervised by the President of NSE, Mr Adekunle Mukuolu, while Mr Olusola Adesanoye was sworn in as the first chairman of the branch.

The NSE President commended the branch for the quick fulfillment of its terms and conditions for recognition as a branch of its own.

“I am very happy that this branch is able to meet the terms and references within a short time. This is unprecedented.

“When the proposal was submitted to NSE, I could see the professional touch in the proposal submitted to us, and we also did not hesitate to grant their status as a branch,” he said.

The guest speaker, Mr Abiodun Ajasa, who talked on “Alternative Energy: A Stimulus for Socio-Economic and Technological Development”, said there was a need for Nigeria to begin to look for alternative energy.

“In Nigeria, it is obvious that there is lack or inadequate power generating capacity when one compares the demand of electricity to total generated capacity talk less of the delivered power supply.

“However, Nigeria is the biggest and most attractive off-grid opportunity in Africa and one of the best locations in the world for mini-grids and solar home systems an alternative sources of energy.

“Government at all levels, engineering practitioners, private sector, investors in the renewable formal and informal sectors have great roles to play in the sustainability of renewable energy in the country,” he said.

The Chairman, NSE, Mowe branch, Adesanoye said that the branch would continue to uphold the tenet of the society.

“We will continue to uphold the tenets of this society. We have come a long way in realising this dream and we will continue to grow it for the benefit of all.

“We are going to see to all our catchment area which is Ogun because the state has been blessed with so many industries.

“It is on record that about 60 per cent of industries in Nigeria reside in Ogun, right from Berger to the Sagamu interchange and beyond, there many industries and many more springing up.

“This is an opportunity for us to engage those companies, relate with them on how to have a mutual relationships and to register those that have been engineers for long without certification,” he said.

The Secretary of NSE, Mowe branch, Mr Tayo Adedayo, told NAN that it was a branch with many professionals with different ideologies and we want to see how we could impact the society.

“There are many projects ongoing if there is no presence of professional touch, there might be crisis. Our plan is to visits those industries within our catchment area and enlightened them on professional ethics,” he said.

NAN reports that part of the programme includes inauguration of the 1st chairman and oath of office, while new members were also inducted by the president.
K

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Foreign

New Zealand has no new COVID-19 case for 16 consecutive days

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New Zealand reported no new case of COVID-19 for 16 consecutive days, said a statement of the Ministry of Health on Sunday.

The combined number of confirmed and probable cases stays at 1,504, of which 1,154 are confirmed, it said.

New Zealand currently has 1,481 people reported as having recovered from COVID-19, unchanged from Saturday. There is only one case remaining active in the country.

There is no one receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19. The death toll remained at 22 in the country.

The total number of tests completed to date is 294,048, an increase of 2,054.

New Zealand is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level two. General public are encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app, developed by the New Zealand government to facilitate contact tracing and case identification.

“We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download and use the app. This will support our contact tracing efforts including when we move to Level 1,” said the Ministry of Health.

The app has currently recorded 517,000 registrations.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

AfDB approves 288.5 mln USD to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Saturday said it has approved 288.5 million United States dollar loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.

In a statement made available to Xinhua in Lagos, the bank said the loan will bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s largest oil producer, is facing twin crises — a health epidemic caused by COVID-19, and an economic crunch largely occasioned by a global oil price plunge.

As of Friday night, the west African country reported 11,844 cases, 3,696 recoveries and 333 deaths.

The loan is the bank’s initial response to help Nigeria mitigate the slump in oil prices and its impact on the national economy, according to the bank.

“The proposed program will ensure that the fiscal position and the economy are sufficiently supported to weather the COVID-19 shocks, thereby limiting its potential adverse impact on livelihoods and the economy more generally,” said Ebrima Faal, senior director of the AfDB for Nigeria.

Faal said beyond the country’s immediate economic recovery needs, the bank and other development partners, will dialogue with Nigerian government on proposals for medium-term structural reforms to diversify and boost domestic revenues away from the oil sector.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

Sweden urges collaboration in conserving earth resources

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Amb. Carl Gräns, the Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and ECOWAS, on Saturday called for collaboration between governments,organisations,communities and individuals in conserving earth resources.

Gräns, who spoke  through a virtual Green Conversation in commemoration of this year’s World Environment Day,said that joint effort was needed in  addressing natural disasters  currently threatening the earth.

The virtual conversation,which was anchored from Abuja by Mr Osaze Efe, the Executive Director of Art for Humanity, was entitled ‘ Exploring an artistic approach in Protecting the Earth’.

“Natural disasters are pestering our planet, more and more frequently, and more and more violently.

“We hear the calls for action, from the youth movements, from all the sectors of society and from the scientists.We must act on science and facts and the time to act is now.

“The world and our very own children are calling upon us to act and no one can do it alone, but if we all work together we can do it,” he said.

Gräns said the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria  was proud to partner with Art for Humanity on the occasion to mark this year’s World Environment Day,in hosting a Green Action Exhibition.

“We are impressed by the work of incredible Nigerian photographers documenting the degradation of the environment through their powerful images and calling for the protection of our planet.

Mr Osaze Efe,in his remarks said that  the visual art had the ability to reawaken human consciousness to the narratives that would  have passed away unnoticed.

“The medium of photography in particular does not only inform and heighten our sensibilities, it provokes to action in a way that humanity moves to bring about the necessary change.

In commemoration of World Environment Day 2020, we are proud to partner with Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria to curate the works of Jones Bamidele, Mark Silas, Abdulrasaq Adebayo, Jerry Chidi, Oke Oluwasegun and Muhammad Mubarak, who have used their lenses to remind us all of the threatening realities facing the earth.

“Our role is taking the necessary steps to preserve the environment for a safe future for mankind,” he said.

Mr Desmond Majekodunmi,a Lagos-based environmental activist and Chairman of Lagos State Urban Forest and Animal Shelter Initiative (LUFASI), also made contributions to the virtual conservation.

Other discussants were Jerry Chidi, a documentary photographer and Christiana OgoOluwa, a painter artist.

Mr Jones Bamidele, a Chief Photojournalist at the  News Agency of Nigeria,Abuja, led a team of  the agency’s six photographers to participate in the Green Action Photo Exhibition.

The virtual group photo exhibition, curated by Art for Humanity in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, had been opened to the public at noon since June 5.

Edited and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Defence/Security

Sen. Folarin worried over increased insecurity in Oyo

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Miss Bello Barakat, aged 19 years and a student of Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training(IAR&T), Ibadan, was gang-raped and stabbed to death by unknown persons.

“The horrific incident took place at the back of the home she shared with her family in Akinyele area of Ibadan.

“On Sunday, May 31, 2020, unknown gunmen invaded Ikereku, Pade and Olanla villages in Akinyele Local Government Area and gruesomely killed three constituents.

“Fact-check reveals that the deceased persons (Ope Babalola, Waheed Ganiyu and Yemi Osunolale) were shot dead in their farms by the attackers and their bodies picked up in the bush.

On April 25, 2020, the two-year-old twins of popular Ibadan-based Islamic scholar, Sheik Taofeek Azeez, popularly known as ‘Akewugbagold’ were kidnapped at gunpoint.

“They were kidnapped at the cleric’s residence located at Abatakan area in Ojoo, Ibadan. The twins were released eight days after the abductors were paid N4million ransom.

“The abuctors initially demanded for £100,000 which is equivalent to N55 million for the release of the children,” he said.

The former senate leader said that he woke up to the horrific and shocking news of Somuyiwa’s death on June 6.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content said evidence revealed that she was hit with an heavy stone on the head in her rented apartment at Aba- Ijefun, Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan.

Folarin, who commiserated with the families of all those who lost their loved ones, said the deaths and high wave of crime in the state were unacceptable.

“Just like other residents, I am deeply worried over the collapse of the security architecture in the state. The ugly situation must not continue.

Oyo State Government must declare state of emergency on the worrisome security situation in the state.Government must live up to expectations by ensuring adequate protection of lives and properties, ” he said.

He also said that the spate of killings, kidnappings and rape incidents in the state as well as other parts of Nigeria called for great concern by all tiers of government, stakeholders and citizens.

The lawmaker called on security agencies to speedily investigate the crimes with a view to bringing the culprits to book in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

“I pray for the families that lost their loved ones. As a stakeholder and senator representing Oyo Central, I am already working with relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators to book,” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Nwachukwu Enwonwu, has relocated his office to Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.

Enwonwu, in a statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the relocation was to ensure that the killers of Bello and Somuyiwa were arrested to face the full wrath of the law.

(
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
)

 

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Economy

AfDB approves $288.5m for Nigeria COVID-19 Response Support Programme

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved 288.5 million dollars loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.

The bank’s Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Saturday.

It explained that the loan would bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses, as well as strengthen the social protection system.

The bank said Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s largest oil producer, was facing twin crises of a health epidemic caused by COVID-19, and an economic crunch largely occasioned by a global oil price plunge.

The bank added that the loan was the Bank’s initial response to help mitigate the slump in oil prices and its impact on the national economy.

The statement quoted Mr Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the Bank for Nigeria as saying that about 40.1 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line of 1.90 dollars per day, and it was feared that the fall in household income during the pandemic would result in wealth deterioration for both the formal and informal sector workers.

“The proposed programme will ensure that the fiscal position and the economy are sufficiently supported to weather the COVID-19 shocks, thereby limiting its potential adverse impact on livelihoods and the economy more generally.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Nigeria’s economy was projected to grow by 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2020 and further expand by 3.3 per cent in 2021.

“But with the advent of the pandemic and the slump in crude prices, the economy is expected to shrink by between 4.4 per cent under a conservative baseline scenario, and 7.2 per cent should the pandemic persist to end-2020.

“Beyond the country’s immediate economic recovery needs, the Bank and other development partners will dialogue with the government on proposals for medium-term structural reforms to diversify and boost domestic revenues away from the oil sector”.

The Bank said it had instituted strong fiduciary measures to monitor the use of COVID-19 funds, and will maintain dialogue, particularly with the Office of the Auditor General in Nigeria, to ensure transparency and accountability.

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Foreign

New Zealand has no new COVID-19 case for 15 consecutive days

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New Zealand reported no new case of COVID-19 for 15 consecutive days, said a statement of the Ministry of Health on Saturday.

The combined number of confirmed and probable cases stays at 1,504, of which 1,154 are confirmed, it said.

New Zealand currently has 1,481 people reported as having recovered from COVID-19, unchanged from Friday. There is only one active case in the country.

There is no one receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19, and the death toll remained at 22.

New Zealand is increasingly confident that there is no current community transmission, said the Ministry of Health.

“The ministry will continue to monitor closely for any new cases in New Zealand and review the control measures needed to prevent and manage any spread of COVID-19 — including the possible use of masks by the public,” said the Ministry of Health, responding to the latest guidance from the World Health Organization on the use of masks for control of COVID-19.

The total number of tests completed to date is 291,994, an increase of 3,007.

New Zealand is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. The general public are encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app, developed by the New Zealand government to facilitate contact tracing and case identification. It has currently recorded 511,645 registrations.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

WHO warns of risks of COVID-19 explosion in South Asia’s densely-populated region

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World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that as COVID-19 cases keep growing in South Asia, there are risks of disease explosion in the densely-populated region.

Particularly in South Asia, not just in India, but in Bangladesh… and in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia with large dense populations, the disease has not exploded, but there is always the risk of that happening,” Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said during a press conference in Geneva.

“And as the disease generates and gets a foothold in communities, it can accelerate at anytime,” he added.

“The number of cases in India has been going up by an average of a third per week, so probably the doubling time of the epidemic in India is about three weeks at this stage. So the direction of travel of the epidemic is not exponential, but it is still growing,” he said.

Ryan said the measures taken in India “certainly had an impact in dampening transmission, and as India, as in other large countries open up and as people begin to move again, there’s always a risk of the disease bouncing back up.”

“I think the important thing is to really keep track of the the growth rate, the doubling time of the virus and make sure that that doesn’t get worse,” said WHO‘s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan.

As India is a “heterogeneous and huge country with very densely populated cities,” Swaminathan said it’s important to wear face coverings.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Egypt, IMF reach 5.2-bln-USD credit deal to help Egypt against COVID-19 consequences

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Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a deal to provide the Egyptian government with a 12-month credit agreement worth 5.2 billion United States dollars to help the North African country deal with economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Egyptian finance ministry announced Friday.

This agreement would be presented to the IMF Executive Board for final approval on the requested financing amount, the ministry said in a statement.

The agreement proves the continued confidence of international institutions, especially the IMF, in Egypt‘s economic, monetary and financial policies as well as the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry added.

It will help preserve the gains Egypt has achieved in recent years by implementing the economic reform program, according to the finance ministry.

On May 11, the IMF Executive Board approved Egypt‘s request for emergency financial assistance of 2.772 billion dollars over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prior to the COVID-19 shock, Egypt carried out a successful economic reform supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility to correct large external and domestic imbalances.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the highly infectious virus on March 8, both foreigners.

Until Friday night, Egypt‘s total coronavirus cases reached 31,115, including 1,166 deaths and 8,158 recoveries.

In mid-March, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi allocated 100 billion Egyptian pounds (6.35 billion United States dollars) to finance an anti-coronavirus plan.

Since March 25, the Egyptian government has been imposing a nighttime curfew, which varied between nine and 13 hours, to curb the spread of the virus.

The current nine-hour curfew will continue until mid-June, when the government will consider easing restrictions amid a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Polio eradication expertise backs Africa’s COVID-19 response –WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says expertise in polio eradication that has put Africa on the verge of being certified free of wild poliovirus has been brought to the frontlines of COVID-19 fight.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo disclosed this in a statement posted on its website and also on its twitter handle on Friday.

“À network of responders from WHO Polio Eradication Programme and partner organisations is providing critical resources and skills to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While testing is the core of any strategy to contain the virus, the region has had a relatively low number of tests performed.

“Since the outbreak started, nearly two million tests have been carried out in the WHO African Region, with an average test rate of 15.3 per 10 000 population.

“To boost diagnosis, the WHO-coordinated polio laboratory network comprising 16 laboratories in 15 countries is now dedicating 50 per cent of its capacity to COVID-19 testing.

“Hundreds of tests are carried out every day using polio testing machines in Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.’’

The statement quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying: “in Africa, no one has the footprint of the polio programme nor the expertise for mounting effective response campaigns.

So with COVID-19 threatening to overwhelm health systems, the extensive polio response network is once again lending crucial support as countries build up systems to contain COVID-19,’’ she said.

Contact tracing has been a central pillar of the WHO polio programme’s support to the COVID-19 response.

Mobile phone applications originally developed for health workers to use in polio outbreak response and disease surveillance have been adapted by WHO to be used against COVID-19.

In Zimbabwe, for example, over 100 disease surveillance officers are using these tools for case investigations and contact tracing in many provinces where COVID-19 has been confirmed.

In addition, WHO Geographic Information System (GIS) centre in Brazzaville is using its huge experience in outbreak response and disease surveillance to support countries with a range of GIS and software technology and manual solutions to respond to COVID-19.

The GIS team is now working around the clock supporting countries to take up the technology for COVID-19 response.

More than 2,000 polio response experts from WHO, UNICEF, Rotary, as well as STOP consultants from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are supporting the COVID-19 response in the African Region.

A quarter of WHO polio staff are dedicating more than 80 per cent of their time towards COVID-19 efforts, with 65 per cent anticipating a commitment of six months or more.

Alongside the support to the COVID-19 response, WHO polio staff are also maintaining critical functions and planning to resume mass polio immunisation campaigns once the situation permits.

The statement further quoted Moeti as saying: “It is important that the support to COVID-19 response does not jeopardize the progress made in stopping all forms of polio transmission in the region.

“The fight against the pandemic should not come at the detriment of other health emergencies.’’

Across the continent, COVID-19 has disrupted mass polio vaccination campaigns in line with the global physical distancing recommendations that limit COVID-19 transmission.

The suspension of high-quality immunisation rounds may risk new polio outbreaks due to low coverage.


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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

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