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Post COVID-19 Recovery Plan: Association advocates health insurance for widows



Post COVID-19 Recovery Plan: Association advocates health insurance for widows



Dr Vetty Agala, President  Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers Chapter, has called on the Federal Government to prioritise health insurance for widows in its Post COVID- 19 Recovery Plan.


Agala, who made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said the health need of the widows should be given utmost attention in the plan.


“Let us ensure that our COVID- 19 pandemic Recovery Plan prioritises the unique needs of widows and supports inclusiveness, resilience, and equality for all.


“Honestly, women generally need to be prioritised but even more so for widows; they need to be considered in programmes to acquire or build skills and empowered to set up Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)p>


“Their children should be supported to return to school. Policies and laws prohibiting harmful Widowhood practices should also be enforced.


“Some women deteriorate once they lose their spouses because of disinheritance by in-laws, even when they worked hard to support their husbands,’’ she said.


According to her, COVID-19 has presented a number of challenges to women, especially widows.


She  said many of them were market women and lockdown and closure of open markets had not helped at all, saying “feeding themselves and their children is a problem now.


“I don’t see much opportunities of the pandemic for them but the group of widows we reached out to have been praying daily for the nation, Rivers State, their families and children.


“They are praying every day from 9 a.m to noon. I guess it is because they are not doing much for now,’’ she said.


Agala, however, called on the state government to initiate programmes and policies that would alleviate the suffering of the widows and support them to take care of the children.


According to her, the children of widows often find themselves withdrawn from school and vulnerable to abuse, especially in the case of the girl child.


“We encourage the government to come up with programmes that support their children to achieve quality education, alleviate their sufferings and end violence against widows


“They should also come up with programmes that will support widows, including action plans to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


“MWAN advocates for the abolishment of all forms of harmful widowhood practices and calls for weaknesses in the judicial systems of many States that compromise how widows’ rights are defended to be addressed.


“The system needs to be addressed so that widows can turn to the justice system to seek reparations,’’ she said.


According to her, MWAN Rivers commits to collaborating with existing organisations that work with widows to empower and allow them access to education, work, healthcare, and lives free of violence and abuse.


“This will enable them to create a life for themselves and their children following the death of their husband.


“MWAN Rivers condemns all harmful widowhood practices such as subjecting women to life- threatening, degrading, or painful mourning practices and burial rites when their husbands die.


“The association speaks against forcing widows out of their homes, separating them from their children, denying them work and access to healthcare, or forcing them to marry another male relative of their husband.


“It frowns at labelling widows as being cursed or associated with the practice of witchcraft, which of course separates them from their community and makes them and their children outcasts.’’


She said the association recognised the need for more research and data into violence, discrimination and poverty suffered by widows to inform the development of policies and programmes to address the problem.


“MWAN Rivers urges governments to take action to uphold their commitments to ensure the rights of widows as enshrined in national and state laws to protect the rights of widows,’’ Agala said.

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Felix Ajide (NAN)


Cecilia Ologunagba: 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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Ogun assesses business outfits ahead of post Coronavirus operations



The Ogun Government on Tuesday commenced the assessment of private business outfits’ preparedness for postCOVID-19 operations.

The Deputy Governor, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who visited Hi-impact Planet, a private holiday resort in Ibafo, said that the move was to ensure compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures.

Salako-Oyedele, who is also the Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force in the state, said government would ensure that every private business outfit in the state was prepared for the post COVID-19 era.

“We shall evaluate the preparedness of business outfits for the gradual reopening of the state’s economy.

“ It is to get a first hand knowledge of how key players in the commercial sector are gearing up for operation after this period.

“We have observed that measures are being put in  place by business owners such as this in preparation for the reopening, ” she said.

Salako-Oyedele commended the management of Hi-impact Planet for providing a functional sanitary point and a well equipped medical facility within the centre.

“As a government, we are working assiduously to reopen all key sectors of the economy, we want strict adherence to all prescribed safety measures,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr Yanju Lipede, the Chief Executive Officer of the centre, described safety as paramount in the planned reopening of the commercial sector.

He pledged the readiness of the facility to exhibit high sanitary standards in its operations, saying, “we shall adhere strictly to all prescribed measures against COVID-19 spread.”

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Pandemic caused postponement of 50,000 cancer operations in Germany



Around 50,000 operations to treat cancer were not carried out in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic up to mid-June, the head of the German Cancer Aid organisation said on Monday.

This represented around a quarter of the operations that would otherwise have been performed over the period, German Cancer Aid President Gerd Nettekoven told the Monday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

“Support measures for cancer patients, from psychosocial to palliative care, were cut back in the hospitals, sometimes radically,” Nettekoven said.

In addition, hospitals and doctors’ practices had postponed therapeutic and diagnostic measures.

“This could at some point lead to life-threatening situations for cancer patients,” Nettekoven added.

He rejected suggestions that the decline in care was due to patients staying home out of fear of infection with the coronavirus. “If 50,000 cancer operations were cancelled, that has nothing to do with patients not attending hospital,” he said.

While the situation had eased to some extent, conditions were still tight. “This also affects early cancer diagnosis. We fear that over the coming period we will be confronted with patients who were diagnosed very late,” Nettekoven said.


Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Post Coronavirus: Cleric urges parents, society to emphasise morality in child upbringing



Rev. Fr. Godfrey Udeh, Parish Priest, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Tedi, Ojo, Lagos, has appealed to parents and society to concentrate on moral teachings in the upbringing of children for a better society.

Udeh made the appeal during an orientation session for parents ahead of their children baptism and induction into the church in Lagos.

The cleric, who blamed parents and the society for the global health crisis of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said that child moral teachings was the anchor of just and violent free world, where love for one another reigns supreme above every other interest.

The parish priest said that the failure of parents and society in teaching children the Word of God and moral values gave rise to the collapse of family and societal values.

He said that it had resulted in man-made weapon of mass destruction such as coronavirus pandemic that had continued to kill peoples and global economy since the third quarter of 2019.

“If the parents and the society have taken sound child moral upbringing above every other thing the world will not have experience this immenent global human extermination ravaging the universe.

“Every pepatrator of this crime against human is a product of family and society, therefore both have failed in their obligations to God in probing the character of the child, who are today’s adults and leaders of the world where love for one another has become elusive.

“Because of materialism, parents have today delegated their parental duties to care givers thereby alienating themselves from their toddller child, who gets acquainted to strangers he spends much time with.

“Within the ages of one to five, the child bonds with the person close to him or her, this is the formative period of the child’s character and parents are to be with them to enable good bonding to make a better person,” he said.

According to him, the high rate of rape and gender based violent should be condemned by the society and stiffer punishment meted to offenders to help in correcting the anormal.

Ude, who regretted the many lost of human lives to the subsisting pandemic, called on religious bodies to reemphasise moral teachings to revamp family and societal values to make the post COVID-19 world a better place.

He said that those causing violence in the society belonged to major religious bodies and not pagans, adding that none of the religious bodies preach violence therefore leaders should use the provisions of the religious norms to groom people for a better society.

Besides, advised parents to heed to the teachings of the Holy Books in raising up children, warning that further neglect to the gospel would spell grievous doom to the entire human race.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Styrian GP qualifying could be postponed to Sunday



Rain washed out final practice for the Styrian Formula One Grand Prix at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on Saturday, with the risk of qualifying being postponed to Sunday.

Stewards said the session had been cancelled on the recommendation of the governing FIA’s safety delegate.

“Looking at that torrential rain I don’t think it’s realistic that we are going to run today,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports F1 television.

Race director Michael Masi said the medical helicopter, needed to fly to hospital in Graz an hour away by road in the event of a serious accident, was unable to take off in the cloudy conditions.

If the weather conditions remain too bad to run on Sunday morning, but improving for the afternoon race start, grid positions will be decided by lap times from Friday’s second practice.

Teams were advised of that possibility already before that practice.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest on Friday, ahead of Mercedes’ championship leader Valtteri Bottas who won last weekend’s season-opener at the same circuit.

“We’ll wait and see when qualifying comes about and evaluate the weather conditions at that point,” Masi, who will make the final call, told Sky F1 television.

“From what we’re seeing forecast-wise, it (the rain) will continue.”

Formula One has held qualifying on Sundays before due to bad weather, most recently in Japan last year. Masi said it would probably start at 10.00 a.m. (0800 GMT) with the race continuing as scheduled.

Ross Brawn, F1 managing director for motor sports, said the Red Bull Ring, in the heart of the Austrian state of Styria with its scenic backdrop, was always a challenge weather-wise.

“But we’re just so pleased to be here, even if the weather is lousy,” he added, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the March 15 Australian opener and putting all racing on hold until last weekend.

“There’s a chance maybe at the end of today, we’ll get some running, but certainly tomorrow looks fine.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Egypt rejects Ethiopia’s proposal to postpone discussions on filling, operating Nile dam



Egypt has rejected a proposal from Ethiopia to postpone tackling controversial points on the rules of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until after an agreement is reached.

Ethiopia demanded to refer these issues to a technical committee that will be formed to follow up the implementation of the terms of the agreement, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, said in a statement.

However, the ministry said it had totally rejected the proposal, noting that such major technical issues could not be referred to the technical committee to be decided later after signing an agreement.

For the eighth day in a row, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have been engaged in talks which are sponsored by the African Union.

The talks, which are meant to bridge the gaps between the three countries, are also attended by experts from the United States and the European Union.

The ministry said Egypt had put forward some alternative formulations in an attempt to bring views closer regarding times of drought or extended drought, in addition to the annual filling and operation rules.

The ministry said that it had been agreed that Ethiopia would study the alternatives proposed by Egypt, adding that the Egyptian proposals would be tackled during a tripartite ministerial meeting that would be held on July 12.

It added that discussions of the legal committee made no progress on controversial points.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating Ethiopia’s grand hydropower dam have been fruitless, including those hosted by Washington, amid Egyptian concerns that the GERD would affect Egypt’s annual share of the Nile water.

Ethiopia recently said that it would soon start filling the reservoir, while Egypt has repeatedly warned against any unilateral action without a prior tripartite agreement.

The 4-billion-dollar GERD is expected to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa’s largest hydropower dam upon completion.

Filling the reservoir, whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, may take several years.

Egypt seeks to prolong the period of filling process to avoid the possible impacts of water shortage, which is a main point of their talks.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Harnessing youth workforce could speed economic recovery post-Coronavirus — AfDB



The African Development Bank (AfDB) says harnessing the youth workforce could speed economic recovery in the postCOVID-19 era in the West African countries.

The AfDB’s Communications and External Department made this known in a statement on Friday on in its regional economic outlook report.

It stated that the virtual launch of the report was jointly hosted by its Regional Development and Business Delivery Office for West Africa, the Nigeria Country Office and the Country Economics Department.

The bank explained that West Africa’s burgeoning youth population offered a strategic workforce which could be harnessed for employment and economic growth.

This, it said, was in spite of COVID-19 pandemic that was devastating the continent and global economies.

The bank said growth in West Africa, poised to expand by 4.0 per cent in 2020, was now projected to contract by at least -2.0 per cent in 2020.

“As a result of the pandemic, growth in the West Africa region, which was poised to expand by 4.0 per cent in 2020, following growth of 3.6 per cent in 2019, is now projected to contract by -2.0 percent in 2020, and could fall by as much as -4.3 per cent in a worst-case scenario.

“Countries that depend on oil and tourism for foreign exchange and fiscal revenues will especially face reduced fiscal space and heightened external account imbalances, stoking a build-up of public debt” the bank stated.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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COVID-19: Kwara Govt postpones 2020 promotion meeting indefinitely



The Office of Kwara State Head of Service has announced the indefinite postponement of the 2020 promotion exercise meeting with all Ministries, Departments and Agencies earlier fixed for Monday, July 13.

A statement from the Chief Press Secretary, Murtala Atoyebi on Wednesday said this was in compliance with the government’s directive to suspend all physical meetings as a result of prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

”New date for the meeting will be communicated at the appropriate time. We regret the inconvenience this might have caused,” the statement read.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as at 4 p.m on Wednesday, Kwara has 307 confirmed cases — 134 active, 161 discharged and 12 deaths.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Post COVID-19: Kwara will replicate Calabar Carnival model – Commissioner




Mrs Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, the Kwara Commissioner for Communication, says the state is looking at how best to replicate the Calabar Carnival model with a view to boost its tourism potentials.

The commissioner told newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the organisation of a post COVID-19 potentials of breaking new grounds using tourism as growth drivers.

According to her, Kwara already has a framework for tourism in the state with the emergence of COVID-19, but presently not at the forefronts.

She however said that the state is looking ahead towards post COVID-19 to enhance the tourism industry and explore the rich cultural heritage of the state as a whole.

“Kwara can replicate Calabar Carnival festival because we are strategically located and blessed with abundant tourist attractions.

“If you look at the film industry in Nigeria, some of the artists are Kwara indigenes,” she said.

The commissioner, however, explained that it may not necessarily be exactly the Calabar Carnival model, but some things that are unique and capture the essence of the state.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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FMDQ Securities Exchange posts N11.78trn turnover in May



FMDQ Securities Exchange has posted a turnover of N11.78 trillion in fixed income and currency (FIC) markets in May, 2020.

This is contained in a monthly FIC report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria from FMDQ on Wednesday.

The report showed that the turnover represented a decrease of 29.46 per cent, when compared with N16.70 trillion in April.

FMDQ said that the turnover recorded in the FIC markets in May 2020, was the lowest turnover recorded since January 2018 (N11.71trillion).

It stated that money market comprising repurchase agreements and unsecured placements transactions and open market operations bills drove the total FIX market turnover in May, accounting for 61.26 pe cent.

According to the report, money market transactions replaced foreign exchange (FX) as the highest contributor to FIC markets turnover in May during the review period.

It noted that FX market turnover in May 2020 was 7.62 billion dollars (N2.94 trillon), representing decrease of 32.92 per cent or 3.74 billion dollars from 11.36 billion dollars or N4.38 trillion posted in April.

An analysis of FX market turnover indicated a general decrease in FX market activity by trade type, with Member-Client trades accounting for 55.61 per cent ($2.08 billion) of the total MoM decrease in FX turnover.

However, FX Derivatives accounted for 89.30 per cent ($3.34 billion) of the total MoM decrease in FX turnover by product type in May 2020.

It is noteworthy to mention that the turnover for Member-CBN FX Spot trades increased by 100 or cent MoM from 0.16 billion dollars in April to 0.32 billion dollars in May.

In May, the Naira depreciated against the United States dollar at the Investors’ and Exporters’ FX Window by N1.18 to close at an average of N386.17.

Also, in the parallel market, the naira depreciated against the U.S dollar by N22.37 to close at an average of N450 during the review period.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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