Government establishments and private offices in Kano metropolis on Monday recorded low turnout of workers following the resumption of work after the Eid-el-Kabir break.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who monitored the resumption of work in some of the government offices revealed that only few workers reported for duty after the two-day public holiday declared by the Federal Government to celebrate Sallah.
NAN reports that few workers resumed duty at the Audu Bako Secretariat, Gidan Murtala and the Federal Secretariat.
At Audu Bako secretariat, Malam Idi Sule said the holiday was enough for any civil servant to return to work on Monday.
Sule said he travelled to Kiru local government area and came back to resume duty.
At Gidan Murtala, Mrs Maimuna Ali, a civil servant, said she came back from Danbatta local government area with her family on Sunday and resumed work on Monday.
“The break was long enough for any activities, so people have no excuse not to resume duty today,’’ Ali said.
At the Federal Secretariat also, few people were seen discussing in groups.
NAN, however, reports that institutions such as Banks and Manufacturing companies witnessed large turnout of workers with customers forming long queues.
But it was observed that activities had yet to pick up fully in most of the markets within metropolis.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had declared July 30 and 31 as public holidays to enable Muslims to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
FG set to support 1.7 million businesses, individuals — Minister
Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has stated the Federal Government’s resolve to provide financial support for 1.7 million business entities and individuals across the country in the next three months.
The minister made this known at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) tagged:“Eko Fashion Hub” in Lagos on Friday.
According to her, the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.
She said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.
“The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.
“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs.
“The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September, 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes,” she said.
She said that both schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) being implemented by the Federal Government.
The minister said that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief for the teeming micro businesses in need of space and infrastructural support.
Katagum expressed appreciation to the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for providing a pragmatic and purposeful leadership in establishing a conducive environment that would seamlessly allow MSMEs to grow and prosper.
She congratulated MSMEs across the country and urged the ones in Lagos State to take full advantage of the shared facility as well as the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes to improve their businesses.
“This event is a testimony to the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a conducive environment for operators in the MSME space.
“The establishment of Shared Common Facilities, is one of the key take-away from the organisation of MSME Clinics across the country.
“It is also imperative to state that the provision of Shared Facilities in support of MSMEs, is being complemented by activities in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“It has been established, and rightly so, that Shared Facilities have been found to be effective tools to minimise the infrastructural challenges that have inhibited MSMEs overtime”.
“It is my belief that this initiative has come at the right time for MSMEs in Lagos State in particular, and Nigeria in general,” she said.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Grace Yussuf
Niger Govt opens Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles
Gov. Sani Bello of Niger has directed the reopening of the Minna-Bida road to articulated vehicles, to ease transportation of goods and services.
He gave the directives at a news conference, after a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of Department of State Service, the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the Minister of Works.
Bello explained that the meeting was to discuss issues arising from the closure of the Minna-Bida road and the state-owned roads.
He said he made a presentation on the deplorable state of the roads in the state, which was unanimously acknowledged to be due to articulated vehicles carrying excessive loads of liquid and dry cargoes.
Bello noted that such action had led to the destruction of the roads and caused hardship on other roads users.
The governor disclosed that as a way forward, the following agreements had been reached:
”That no articulated vehicle carrying petroleum products of more than 45,000 litres or 35 tons of dry cargo will be allowed to ply the roads.
”That there was need for special intervention for remedial works to be executed on Federal roads to serve as alternative routes, for trucks to move their products.
”That the State Government would require support from the Federal Government to carry out remedial work on Farin-Doki-Minna-Bida road, for easy movement.
”The Ministry of Works said there were ongoing road repairs by the Federal Government and reiterated its commitment to completing the project,” he said.
The governor, however, said that he had directed the relevant agencies to temporarily open the closed state roads to ease the hardship of motorists and other road users.
He appealed to the people of the state to be patient with the decision of reopening the roads, adding that the Federal Government’s intervention would be effected soon.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu
Visa Ban: FG says sanctioning electoral offenders disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty
The Nigerian government has said it considers it disrespectful to the Sovereignty of the country for any outside country to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.
The Nigerian government made this known in a statement issued by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that this comes as a response to the recent announcement of the United States and the United Kingdom to impose visa restrictions on those who undermine electoral processes.
The Nigerian Government said it was committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the United States and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and United States to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the government said.
The government called on the partners to support security agencies by providing them whatever concrete evidence of observed misconduct to allow our laws and regulations to take their course.
The Nigerian government also expressed solidarity with the government and people of the United States as regards their forthcoming election, which it hoped would be free from interference and violence.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu