Air Pollution: Environmentalist calls for enforcement of policies



Mr Gafar Odubote, an environmentalist, has called for enforcement of environmental policies to curb increasing air pollution in the country.

Odubote, a climate-change enthusiast, made this appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Lagos.

The expert said the country had no lack in environmental policies but rather in putting them to work in order to address our environmental issues.

“These carbon emissions into the atmosphere happen more like 24 hours, if vehicles are not moving at night then the generators are running till day break.

“We have numerous policies from the Ministry of Environment addressing these air pollution issues but the problem lies in their enforcement.

“Enforcement is the most important; if the government can put in place the right enforcement for these environmental issues especially air pollution then we will be able to address it properly.

“Let us start holding people responsible for emission of carbon footprints into the environment. For example, the commercial vehicle drivers are the major culprit when it comes to these carbon emissions.

“Presently the ministry of environment have started this house-to-house inspection but that does not cut it in addressing the air pollution issues in the country,” he said.

Odubote also called for continuous screening of vehicles for road worthiness as well as sanctioning of defaulters where necessary.

“Most vehicles in Nigeria go for a road worthiness test probably once and after then no one is even concerned on about the gases they emit, hence the continuous air pollution for cars on our roads.

“Presently in developed countries, they tax vehicles on carbon emission to ensure a safer environment. The carbon tax is based on your emission of carbon into the atmosphere.

“So if our government agencies in charge of road worthiness will not embark on follow up inspection vehicles after issuing the certificates, then this air pollution from vehicular fumes will continue.

“The government in the news couple of weeks ago promised to embark on total vehicles inspection to address this air pollution, but so far it has just been on paper and not in practice.

“Apart from vehicular fumes, the fumes from generators also pollute the environment; generators both for household and industrial use are pushing excessive carbon into the atmosphere.

“The government should also screen cars thoroughly at the point of registration, also at every point of renewal of the car’s documents they should also be an intensive screening for carbon emission.

“If government agencies can impound or seize a vehicle for parking at the wrong places, why can they not sanction vehicles with excessive carbon emissions?” Odubote asked.

The expert also called for control in the importation of cars with excess carbon fumes into the country and the monitoring of petroleum produce.

“Most people are not sensitive to the carbon we emit into the air because they do not know the impact it has on our environment.

“Even before your vehicle starts emitting fumes into the atmosphere, there is a sensor in the car that warns you ahead but most people are oblivious to it.

“Some of the vehicles being imported into the country have exceeded their carbon limit test, but we do not care, we import them and buy it anyway.

“For the government to correct this anomaly, we must stop the importation of vehicles that have exceeded their carbon limits into the country.

“The government should also monitor the quality of fuel and other petroleum resources being supplied to motorists. We should ensure they are not adulterated or they can cause increased carbon emission.

“If these parameters are not checked, the carbon footprints in our environment will keep increasing on a daily basis,” the expert warned.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola



COVID-19: NCDC reports 90 new Infections, 5 deaths in Nigeria



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 90 new infections and five deaths due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country bringing the nation’s total confirmed cases to 56,478.

The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Tuesday .

According to the agency, the infections were reported from eight states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NCDC said that 33 of the cases were identified in Lagos, 27 in Plateau, 17 in Kaduna, 6 in Ogun and 4 in FCT.

The remaining three states were Anambra, Ekiti, and Nasarawa with one case each.

The centre also said that 93 patients had been treated and discharged after testing negative against the virus.

The public health agency said it had conducted 443,987 tests since the first confirmed case relating to the pandemic was announced.

According to it, as of Sept. 15, 2020, 90 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in the country, while 56,478 cases have been confirmed, 44,430 cases have been discharged, and 1088 deaths  recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

The agency stated that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued  to coordinate national response activities across the country.

Meanwhile, the agency has said that a declined in the daily confirmed number of infections does not mean that the virus is over in the country.

“We are not yet in ‘Post-COVID’ times. COVID-19  is not over until there is no coronavirus anywhere in Nigeria and the world. Let’s continue to wash our hands, wear a mask and maintain physical distance.

“It’s a lot easier to wear a mask than a ventilator. Protect yourself and your loved ones by wearing a mask today,” it advised.

The NCDC said that a sudden loss of taste or smell with fever, headache or runny nose could mean COVID-19 infection and not malaria.

It, therefore, urged Nigerians not to  ignore the symptoms.

“Do  not self-medicate on malaria drugs when you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms. You will put yourself and others at great risk if you do.

“Call your state’s hotline to arrange for a COVID-19 test immediately,” it said .

The public health agency said that as international flights resumed, the country would not want an influx of imported cases.

“We need the cooperation of return travelers and adherence to protocols so that we can maintain the gains achieved in the response,” it urged.

It advised all hotels owners on the need to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

“Hotels, whether isolation sites or not, must ensure they clean, disinfect, and ventilate all rooms properly between each guest’s stay.

“If a guest or staff develops COVID-19 symptoms, isolate the person immediately and call your state’s hotline to arrange for a COVID-19 test.

“Find state emergency contacts here: covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/contact/

“Remember, the coronavirus can live on surfaces. Handles, elevator buttons, handrails, switches, doorknobs,  remote controls, etc. should be frequently disinfected,” it noted.

According to the NCDC, gloves give a false sense of protection against COVID-19.

“Regular handwashing with soap and running water offers more protection than wearing gloves.

“Gloves don’t protect you. Proper hand hygiene does,” it said.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

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NCDC announces 156 new COVID-19 cases, total now 54, 743.



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 156 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases nationwide to 54,743.

The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Friday.

According to the health agency, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued  to coordinate national response activities across the country.

The agency said that three deaths were recorded in the country.

It added that till date, 54,743 cases have been confirmed, 42,816 cases discharged, and 1,051 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The public health agency said that the 156 new cases were reported from 17 states.

Lagos state, the centre said, had the highest number of infections with 36 cases, followed by FCT with 35 cases, and Oyo with 29 cases recorded.

States that recorded new cases of the virus were, Kaduna-10, Abia-9, Osun-5, Ogun-5, Enugu-5, Rivers-4, Nasarawa-3, Ekiti-3, Imo-3, Edo-2, Kwara-2, Katsina-2, Plateau-2, and Niger-1.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that as of Sept. 3, Nigeria has tested 4,133 people.

Cases confirmed positive were 124, while the daily test positivity stood at three per cent.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Buhari approves phase III of National Response on COVID-19



President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the third phase of the National Response on COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the country.

Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19, announced the president’s approval during the PTF daily briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting between the committee  and the President, Mustapha said “Nigerians will all recall that at the onset of the eased lock down, the PTF drafted a three-phase strategy of easing the restrictions, ahead of a full reopening of the society and economy.

“In determining what phase of the strategy to move to, the PTF tried to balance the public health and economic considerations alongside data analysis.

” The PTF believes that while Nigeria is not ready for a full re-opening of the economy, there has been sufficient progress to warrant significant further relaxation of the restrictions applied.

“Based on the foregoing, the PTF today submitted its 7th Interim Report to Mr President for his consideration and approval.

“The main thrust of the recommendation is that Nigeria advances to the third phase of eased restrictions with further amendments, to address economic, socio-political and health concerns.

“This will last till a time when the epidemic is sufficiently controlled in Nigeria.

“Accordingly, Mr President has considered and approved the following: Transition into the third Phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for a period of four weeks with effect from 12.01 am on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations reflected in the implementation guidelines;

“Continued engagement with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation on the response; Maintaining the current non-pharmaceutical interventions nationwide; Urging the State governments to work with Local Government authorities in their states to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots engagement and risk communication,”.

The SGF also said that the president has approved collaboration between the Federal and State organs to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response.

“in the short, medium and long-term basis; and Introduction of sanctions including the suspension of passports or denial of foreign travels for violation of current provisional travel related quarantine protocols.

He also said that the President has approved the extension of the mandate of the PTF until the end of December, 2020.


Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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NCDC reports 298 new COVID-19 case, total of infection hits 49,068



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  has reported 298 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections in the country to 49,068.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle late on Sunday.

According to it, one death was recorded in the country.

According to the health agency, 36,497 patients have now been discharged, with a total of 975 patients losing their lives to the virus.

The centre added that Plateau  had the highest number of infections recoded for the day with 108 cases, followed by Kaduna with 49 cases.

Lagos, still with the highest number of cases in the country, recorded the third highest number of cases for the day, with 47 newly infected people.

Amongst others were, Ogun (18), Osun (17), FCT (15), Ondo (14), Edo (8), Oyo (6), Akwa Ibom (4), Cross River (4), Borno (3), Ekiti (2), Bauchi (1), Kano (1) and Rivers (1)

It stated that till date, while 49,068 cases have been confirmed, and 36,497 cases discharged, 975 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

The health agency said that properly fitted face masks would allow adequate air flow and still offer protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

“Wear a mask properly.  Covering  your nose and mouth, no gaps, secured with straps and at least three layers of fabric,” it advised.

Meanwhile, the health agency says it is making use of SORMAS, a digital surveillance tool which facilitates real-time reporting of cases of epidemic-prone diseases including COVID-19 by health workers across the country.

“By digitalising disease surveillance data, states are able to share information and engage in rapid decision-making,” it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that  seven African countries will start testing for COVID-19 antibodies beginning next week in an effort to understand the extent of the outbreak of the virus in Africa.

The countries, which will be the first set, are Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Morocco, according to the Africa CDC.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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