The National Economic Council (NEC) has alerted Nigerians to the symptoms of the Corona virus and what to do to prevent the disease.
Corona virus, found in Wahum, China has spread to US, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State briefed State House correspondents after NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa.
He said that the Minister of Health briefed the council on Corona virus, Lassa fever, Polio eradication and other health concerns as well as on efforts being made to address the challenges.
“He made us know the symptoms of Corona virus – common cold, catarrh, headache and fever.
“So, you can probably believe that what you have is malaria and probably treat malaria.
“He says that we have to inform the public that if you don’t respond to malaria drugs, you should get immediate health attention so that they can take a sample of your blood and know what really you have.
“ He says that it is necessary for us to strengthen prevention at our port of entry; that means everybody coming into Nigeria, you have to check the temperature of that person; if it is too high, then you will know what to do; so, at our port of entry, we have to do a lot.”
On Polio eradication, Akeredolu said that it was clear from the minister’s briefing that Nigeria was on course to having polio certification by June 2020.
He said that for three and half years past, Nigeria had not recorded a single case of wide polio virus.
According to him, Nigeria is doing well and needs just five months to have that status – polio free certification.
He said that the minister also reported on the incidences of Lassa fever.
Akeredolu said that the minister reported that Lassa fever had been recorded in Edo, Kano, Ondo, Ebonyi and Taraba States, resulting in 84 cases and 16 deaths.
“The National Centre for Disease Control is at alert and they are on top of this.
“They are working in most of these states now; I can confirm the fact that they are in Ondo State, where they have recorded more deaths.
“The Minister said that we have secured facilities in South Africa, where we can send samples for test.
“And that we have modern dialysis for our Primary Health Care(PHC), which will be working 24 hours because after a couple of days, the resultant effect of Lassa fever is kidney problem.
“ And when the kidney stops functioning, you will need to dialyse the patient.
“` But we were informed that Lassa fever is not a killer disease; it is treatable; all you need to do for Lassa fever, which is now prevalent in the states we mentioned, is to show in time.’’
He said that the cost of treatment was very high but the Federal Government had made drugs available in all the centres for treatment– Irua, FMC Owoh, Abakaliki and other places.
The governor said that the NEC also received a report on the use of Paracetamol or Aspirin in cooking meat.
He said that such practice had a deadly consequence and urged Nigerians to desist from such acts as it could affect the kidney.
Edited By: Ephraims Sheyin
Electricity/Fuel pump hike: NLC insists on nationwide protest
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted that it would proceed with its planned nationwide protest with effect from Sept. 28 over Federal Government refusal to reverse the hikes in electricity tariff and fuel pump price.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NLC’s Central Working Committee (CWC) on Sept. 17 had issued a two-weeks ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol or workers would embarked on a nationwide protest on Sept. 28.
According to Wabba, the NEC after its extensive deliberations, resolved to reject the hike in electricity tariff by almost 100 per cent and also reject the fuel price increased in the name of deregulation.
“This decision, along side other decisions of the government including the increase of VAT by 7.5 per cent, other numerous charged by commercial banks on depositors, without any explanation will further impoverish Nigerian workers and citizenry, including their families.
“Therefore, this is coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is not only “ill timed’’ but it is also counter productive, ” he said.
He said that NEC also observed that the privatisation process that was done seven years ago had not yielded any positive result and that the entire sector was sold at about N400 billion.
He also noted that the Federal Government within the last four years have injected N1.53 trillion over and above the amount that was used to sell those important assets.
“Therefore, NEC came to the conclusion that the entire privatisation process have failed and the electricity hike, is a continuous process of exploitation of Nigerians,” he said.
Wabba also noted that the issue of the three refineries and increase in the pump price of petroleum had been on constant debate for more than three decades and that the arguments were still the same.
According to him, this is whether it is in the name of deregulation or subsidiary removal, what is obvious is that the fuel price hike has further eroded the gains of the N30, 000 National Minimum Wage, as it has spiral effects.
“The spiral effects include, high cost of goods and services and reductions in the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians.
“NEC thought that on the issue of deregulation, it will be a continuous exploitation if it is imported driven. While demanding that our three refineries should be made to work optimally, and then it will be beneficial to Nigerians. ” he said.
He said that the primary purpose of governance was about the security and welfare of the Nigerian people.
He further called on the Federal Government to maintain refineries in the country for the benefits of its citizenry.
“In the light of all of this, NEC decided to endorsed the two- weeks ultimatum given to the Federal Government to try to reverse those obnoxious decisions and also pronounced that the action proposed by the CWC is hereby endorsed by the NEC.
“That Sept. 28 will be a date that those actions will be challenged by Nigerian workers, our civil society allies and also other Labour centres,” he said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Felix Ajide
No directive to constitute disciplinary c’tee against us — Ojudu, others
Sen. Babafemi Ojudu and 10 others have said that there was no directive from the National Caretaker Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC), mandating the Ekiti chapter of the party to constitute disciplinary committee against them.
Besides Ojudu, Ekiti APC affected members are, Oyetunde Ojo, a former governorship aspirant of the party, Dr Wole Oluyede, Ayo Ajibade, Femi Adeleye and Bunmi Ogunleye.
The rest are, Akin Akomolafe, Bamigboye Adegoroye, Olusoga Owoeye, Dele Afolabi, Toyin Oluwasola, and Ben Oguntuase.
NAN recalls that Mr Sam Oluwalana, Ekiti APC’s Director of Media and Publicity and a member of the committee, had on Sept. 15, said that the party had constituted a nine-man committee to query some party members.
He said that it was over alleged violation of NEC directive by the party members.
The 11 aggrieved members noted that the decision of the Ekiti APC to impose disciplinary measures against them and subsequent invitation were clear violation of their fundamental human rights to seek redress in court when aggrieved.
The affected members stated this in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee by their counsel, Chief Ademuyiwa Adeniyi, and a copy made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti.
The aggrieved APC chieftains explained that they would not be attending the committee’s invitation.
The aggrieved APC members, through their councel said “it is sub-judice in law with consequences, saying they would not get fair hearing considering comments from members of the committee and leaders of the party.
“The information at the disposal of our clients is contrary to your claim that the National Caretaker Committee of the APC directed the Ekiti chapter to set up Disciplinary committee to try them.
“Sir, looking at the composition of your committee, especially the position of one of your members, the Ekiti APC Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Sam Oluwalana, has already written the report of your committee while addressing newsmen on Tuesday, Sept.,15.
“He went to the extent of calling our clients recalcitrant. You will agree with us that we can not guarantee the impartiality of your Committee.
“Still on the issue of independence and impartiality of your Committee, our Clients have raised serious objection to the venue of your meeting.
“That the composition of your Committee is against the principles of Nemo Judex in causa Sual, that is, no one is judge in his own cause.
“This is one of the cardinal rules of Natural Justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest.
“Mr Paul Omotosho that constituted your Committee and to whom all your findings shall be reported to is a party to Suit No. /446/2020.
Adeniyi, however, said clients were ready for the progress, unity of the APC and genuine reconciliation toward putting an end to the crisis in the party.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Osinbajo Engages APC Social Media Influencers on hate speech
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is ready to support youths to influence the passage of the hate speech bill presently before the National Assembly.
Osinbajo gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja while engaging the All Progressives Congress (APC) social media operators and influencers at a virtual meeting held at the party’s national secretariat.
The Vice President also assured that the government would not relent in expanding and sustaining youth friendly projects, including media platforms that would add value to the society.
Also speaking at the virtual meeting, Alhaji Ahmed Ismaeel, National Youth Leader of the APC, described the meeting as the first of its kind and very engaging, adding that the party would continue to organise such meetings from time to time.
He said the meeting was organised to particularly recognise the party’s online soldiers and media influencers, who had over the years, helped to shape public opinion on it.
Speaking on the party’s defeat at the just concluded Edo governorship election, Ismaeel said the party would do a postmoterm on the outcome of the election to know why it lost.
“We thought we had covered the grounds very well, but there was a blind side we didn’t see, the party intends to do a postmoterm on the election this week.
“We will conduct a postmoterm this week, to know how far and how we found ourselves in this kind of situation,” he said.
Ismaeel, who is also a member of the APC Caretaker and Reconciliation Committee, added that knowing that the party did not win the last presidential election in Ondo state, would make the election to be dicey.
He added that the state governor had, however, done what he needed to do in terms of reconciling aggrived party members, there was more to be done.
Ismaeel stressed that the party would not take anything for granted again, but would rather go out and fight to ensure that it retained Ondo State.
He said it was disheartening to note that for the first time since 2015, the APC doesn’t have a representative in the South South geopolitical zone again, adding that this was worrisome.
Ismaeel said while the party may have lost Edo state governorship election, it had to work hard, especially to ensure that it won the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election slated for October 10.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 100 APC media influencers participated at the event.
Nigeria like other developing nations have varieties of media technology through which information gets to the people.
Apart from the conventional media like Television, Radio and Newspapers, Digital media services such as email, social media sites, websites are among others playing the role of information dissemination.
The interface with the APC media influencers and its leadership was an opportunity to review performances and renew commitment, according to its organisers.
Edited By: Benson Iziama/Felix Ajide
Osinbajo, UNN students discuss technology, innovation
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday had a virtual interaction with students from both the university and the secondary school in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN) campus.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the Vice President featured at the virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets and Technologies, UNN.
The theme of the conference is “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development.”
The Vice President said that deploying technology and innovation to address emerging challenges would be crucial to the country’s recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must creatively imagine and pioneer our way out.
“We are in one of the worst health and economic crises in living memory and our recovery must be innovative – we must employ never-before-seen methods to fight the never-before-seen plethora of issues before us.
“Whether we are discussing the delivery of social services to vulnerable communities and promoting financial inclusion or we are talking about boosting agricultural productivity and promoting the security of our communities, how we harness technology is crucial.
“The future will be decided in groups such as yours, where young Nigerians are actively thinking about how to deploy technology in creative ways for problem-solving.”
Osinbajo said that such innovative ideas must be deployed in a manner that was inclusive and accessible to all Nigerians including the poor and vulnerable.
He said that recently, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center concluded its Climate LaunchPad, and some very innovative ideas were unveiled.
According to him, one of the innovator companies, New Digits, generates power from water.
“The product uses water and conformed solar cells to generate energy for electricity and cooking.
“It actually works by collecting water automatically from any piping channel in the house, breaks down the water into Hydrogen which is used to cook and to power the entire house without the need for batteries of any kind.”
The Vice President also cited PowerStove Energy, founded by three young Nigerians, Okey, Abdulazeez and Glory.
He said that the trio produced a low-cost, clean smokeless cookstove.
“PowerStove Energy is the first clean cookstove to be fitted with self-powered Internet of Things (IoT) cloud system to monitor in real-time, every day that cooking is done, the amount of Co2 that is used and biomass saved, black carbon prevented and total electricity generated.
“All of that is monitored in real-time every day.’’
Osinbajo pledged the support of the Federal Government to universities especially in enhancing their capacity for research and innovation.
He said that the Federal Government was prepared but the university needed to do more by being proactive in the links with industry.
“Industry, as you know, is interested in commerce. If it will make profit and money, industry is interested.
“I think that a lot of the innovations we are seeing are certainly profitable and can be lucrative. But where government can come in is where there are needs for additional support to make the research easier or cheaper for the public to access.
“So, I certainly look forward to the cooperation between the Federal Government and the University of Nigeria.
“In education too, Covid-19 has showed us just how adaptive we can be and there are a number of ed-tech firms such as uLesson, where students can take lessons and tests on an app.
“If scaled, this could revolutionise how we approach challenges with access to education.’’
He said that the Federal Government had started the Students Innovation Challenge for all universities in Nigeria.
“We came as far as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; there is a hub called the Genesis Hub where the competition took place for the South East.
“Three winners emerged from the University of Nsukka; and each of them got N1 million, and there were 25 of them that emerged winners at the competition.
“The Innovation Challenge is our commitment; we are committed to ensuring that innovation is done on a continuous basis,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, said the university had prioritised the deployment of technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other participants at the conference included former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Eze-Okafor, among others.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz