The French government is set to sign off on a five -billion-euro (5.6-billion-dollar) loan guarantee to help carmaker Renault overcome the COVID-19 crisis, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.
The development came after Renault management and unions agreed to start discussions on preserving jobs at a factory at Maubeuge in northern France affected by a cost-cutting plan announced on Friday.
Renault, which posted an overall net loss of 141 million euros for 2019, aims to cut costs by 2.2 billion euros over the next three years.
But President Emmanuel Macron earlier in the week warned there would have to be an agreement about jobs at the Maubeuge plant and a nearby factory in Douai before the government, which with a 15.01-per-cent stake is Renault’s biggest shareholder, would sign off on the loan guarantee.
The ministry said talks between management, unions and regional authorities on the future of the Maubeuge site would begin next week.
Ghosn, who denies any wrongdoing, subsequently fled to Lebanon.
Nissan last week posted a net annual loss of 671.2 billion yen (6.2 billion dollars) due to slumping sales, restructuring costs and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/france-to-sign-off-on-e5bn-aid-for-renault-after-jobs-pledge/
Health Minister says 10% of COVID-19 cases are under-19
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says records show that 10 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases treated are below the age of 19 years.
According to him, with regard to COVID-19 and growing complacency, it is important to stress that, even though adults, especially those 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups.
“Records show that 10 percent of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years.
” They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease.
“Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, to prevent COVID-19 surge,” he said.
Speaking on the need for testing, the minister noted that it was important for the country to generate national and international confidence in the nation’s data by conducting more targeted testing before conclusions were drawn.
“It means that all States and local government areas must cooperate with NCDC by raising sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to a desired rate and to report promptly; as we are still far from the target of two million tests.
“In this regard, we can support States with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation.
“While stepping up surveillance and case finding, states can also ensure that suspected symptomatic COVID cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities.
“The recommended criteria for testing are: persons who have been in contact with a COVID positive patient or are associated with a cluster of persons of interest, those who have any of the four classical symptoms of fever, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell and breathlessness; anyone facing surgery, as well as for any other compelling reason. Testing for travel is assigned to private laboratories.”
He also stated that the distribution of oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions commenced with training of about 176 intensive care specialists, and biomedical engineers, who would use or maintain them in the hospitals.
Ehanire disclosed that the ventilators and training were courtesy of the United States government and it shall complement what they have at the ICUs.
The minister also commended health workers in JOHESU, for putting an end to their industrial action, adding that it was his desire to work with them to resolve issues of concern.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
COVID-19: PTF warns against neglect of protocols
He said that there were increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven to be very successful.
He said face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era.
Mustapha, however, called for vigilance in order to forestall any danger of second wave of the pandemic as the countries in Europe were currently facing.
According to him, the call for greater vigilance is underscored by the fact that our economy has been seriously affected by the pandemic and we are pushing through our home-grown economic recovery strategies to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.
” Also, our health systems, in spite of its fragility, have been able to withstand and contain cases resulting from COVID-19 infection, where those of more advanced countries have been overwhelmed.
“This call is made more pertinent in view of the noticeably increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven very successful.
“Face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era,” he said.
Speaking on the second wave of the virus across the world, the PTF chairman said, “Israel has re-introduced a three-week lockdown, the United Kingdom was considering another lockdown phase, Spain was enforcing a partial lockdown in Madrid and France – amidst protests by its citizens.
“They have also introduced stricter measures to contain the virus. Similar stories are coming from South Korea, Iran and the number of fatalities is approaching 200,000 in the USA.
“The World Health Organisation(WHO), has advised that everybody should learn from lessons of the first wave, especially as ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’.
“Let me share with you a global picture to buttress the foregoing. Over the last three days, the global cases passed the 31 million mark and it took only four days to get there from the 30th million.
“The USA crossed 7 million cases and continues to report a high daily caseload of over 30, 000 daily. We continue to see highest daily numbers from India.
“More specifically, the lesson for us in Nigeria, is that in spite of appreciable progress recorded, we should be vigilant more than ever before, because we have opened our air spaces to international travels, we have relaxed a number of restrictions in opening up more sectors of the economy and schools are beginning to open in varying degrees.”
On the reopening of airports for international travels, Mustapha noted that the PTF would continue to work with partners from the private sector to fine tune the protocols for international travellers, especially those arriving in Nigeria.
He, however, urged all travellers to ensure that they complete all pre-boarding and post-arrival processes, especially on the portal to facilitate seamless arrivals at the airports.
“We cannot afford the importation of the virus.
“We appeal strongly to all Nigerians to persuade their relations arriving Nigeria to self-isolate upon arrival, as required and test on day seven as prescribed,”
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Rohr calls up 21 old faces, 4 new faces for Super Eagles’ 2 friendlies
Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 25 players ahead of October’s friendly matches against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, scheduled for Austria.
Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed in a statement on Monday in Abuja that five other players have been put on standby.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the friendlies are the three-times African champions’ first games this year, as a result of the prolonged global coronavirus pandemic.
Rohr has listed the team’s top names such as Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as new brooms Frank Onyeka and Chidera Ejuke.
Former FIFA Under-17 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu.
Captain of the most recent Nigeria under-17 squad, Samson Tijani, will join up with the elite, as well as Portugal-based exciting wing-back Zaidu Sanusi.
Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading to Austria for the games, just as England-based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns.
Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called up.
The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on Oct. 9.
They will four days later engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.
Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands)
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NAF trains 435 specialists to man its platforms
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, on Monday said that 435 specialits have been trained by the Nigerian Air Force to man its platforms.
The personnel were trained at the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna.
He said that it was time for the institution to reflect on how well it has delivered on its mandate while the students reflect on the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead in building a successful professional career in the NAF.
He noted that for over 40 years, AFIT has consistently trained officers and airmen/airwomen who have performed creditably in supporting NAF operations as specialists in aircraft and armament engineering.
Also in works and services, supply management, communication as well as Information and Communication Technology.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 435 students where trained on engineering, armament maintenance, logistics and procurement management.
Others include, electrical/electronics/radar/Information technology, aircraft maintenance, Air Frame and Power Plant Option and avionics.
NAN also reports that among the 435 graduating students, 75 are officers and 360 are airmen and airwomen.
Abubakar said the vision of the current NAF administration was anchored on human capacity development for enhanced professional performance.
“Ensuring NAF personnel have the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively support Nigerian Air Force operations which remains the prime focus of my administration
“In the area of pilots training, two officers including the first female fighter pilot have concluded their tactical training on the A-Jet aircraft.
“Only last week, we witnessed the graduation of 29 officers of Super Mushk Pcourse and 46 who have successfully completed their ab initio pilot training on the Supermushak and the DA-40 aircraft.
”Similarly, last Friday, 24 special forces personnel passed out as instructors at the RTC Annex in Bauchi and the unit also commenced the training of 219 SF personnel.
“Later in the week, we shall witness the graduation of four student pilots that have completed their Basic Fighter Training course in Kano.”
According to Abubakar, these courses that have been concluded successfully despite enormous challenges including the COVID–19 pandemic.
”It will no doubt have positive impact not only on our operations but will go a long way towards ensuring that the Service is positioned into a highly professional and disciplined force.”
He also noted that the technical and logistics management courses conducted by the Air Force Institute have helped tremendously to reduce dependence on foreign expatriates and save huge foreign exchange for the nation.
“The execution of air operations in theatres across Nigeria using solely Nigerian crews, engineers, technicians, and controllers is a testament of the success story of our capacity building initiative.
”I congratulate the students for their steadfastness, tenacity of purpose and grit to complete your course work.
”However, let me remind you that the initial and basic courses you have just completed is the beginning of your journey as professionals in the NAF.
“You still have a lot to learn particularly from your superiors in the field.
“It is my sincere expectation that as you go to the field, you will be good and worthy ambassador of AFIT as you join a long line of outstanding graduates of this prestigious citadel who through excellence, hard work and commitment have continue to contribute to the success of the Nigerian Air Force.”
Abubakar expressed NAF appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continuous support.
“The invaluable support the NAF has enjoyed over the years has placed us in a position to tackle the challenges of insurgency and myriad of other forms of insecurity across the nation.
“We hereby reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Nigerians and indeed all the people who reside in our great country,” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of AFIT, AVM Abdulganiyyu Olabisi, said that the basic courses were aimed at introducing the officers and men to their various trades in preparation for deployment to the field.
Olabisi said having recognized that the officers and men of the NAF can only give as good as they are equipped to, reiterated the need to train and re-train them to handle all the operational needs of the Nigerian Air Force.
This he said will deemphasize dependence on foreign nationals and non-military actors.
The Commandant appealed to NAF Headquarters to assist in the funding of the training initiatives.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/ Maharazu Ahmed