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Coronavirus: Why Lagos May Extend Lockdown – Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has stated that the lockdown of the state over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be extended.

Naija News recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the lockdown and restriction of movement in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state for fourteen days to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This has led to Lagos residents complaining about hardship while urging the state government to relax the restriction.

Speaking to newsmen on Saturday, Sanwo-Olu said if a need arises for an extension, the restriction would be extended.

He said: “This is just day five. So, in the first 14 days, we still have about eight or nine days to go.

“So, I’m sure that it’s something that all of us, including the federal authorities will be reviewing. The lockdown was not only a directive of the governor; it was a national decision and it has national backing. So, if there is a need to extend, I can assure you that we will make the call.”

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International Community Expecting Coronavirus To Crush Nigeria – FG

The Federal Government says International Community are expecting coronavirus to crush Nigeria.

Naija News reports that the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made this comment yesterday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Taskforce.

Mustapha sought greater cooperation of Nigerians in the Federal Government’s bid to contain the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), alleging that many countries of the world are actually expecting the worst from Nigeria, hence the need to join hands to avoid such expectations.

The Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 announced the government’s readiness to deal with food shortages that may arise after routing out the Novel Coronavirus, saying President Muhammadu Buhari‘s next level administration has already taken steps in that direction.

His words: “We have to be very careful here so that we do not tie the hands of our law enforcement agents and incapacitate them from being efficient and effective in the implementation of this lockdown,” Mustapha said.

Speaking further, the SGF said: “On Friday, I was watching CNN, a woman in Chile ran out of the isolation centre. The police ran after her and grabbed her and pulled her back to the isolation centre. In a lot of countries, of course, when you talk about the punitive processes that have been put in place in Russia and many others when you disregard the processes that have been put in place, they have prepared a quiet place in jail for a certain number of years.

“COVID-19 is not an ordinary virus. It has overtaken the world with a storm. It has overrun even the best of medical facilities. You know as well as I do that our medical infrastructure is nowhere compared to the nations that are driven aground as a result of this pandemic and we are still casual about this?

“So, it is your responsibility as media people to drive a narrative that will make Nigerians own this process.

“Let us prove the world wrong on this because the expectation is that we will crush under this.

“Major networks of the world are carrying such news items that Nigeria is definitely going to crush under this. But I know the Nigerian resilience and the Nigerian spirit, that we can overcome this as we overcame the other epidemics in the past”, the SGF opined.

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politics

What President Buhari Told APC Chairman, Oshiomhole

President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on the occasion of his 68th birthday.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari wished the former Edo State governor more wisdom and strength.

Buhari also saluted Adams Oshiomhole for his courage, diligence and resilience in consistently rallying everyone around the onerous task of taking Nigeria to the next level.

The statement reads: “He affirms that Comrade Oshiomhole’s skill in mobilising people and resources has truly galvanized the party, with leaders at various levels regularly setting and realising targets that will leave lasting legacies, especially in providing security, ensuring an inclusive economy that works for all and promoting transparency and accountability.”

“As the party chairman turns 68, the President urges more steadfastness and focus in carrying all members and supporters along in realising the larger goal of making life better for all Nigerians, while appreciating his sacrifices for the nation over the years as a labour leader and a governor.”

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Coronavirus: 7 Major Points From Buhari’s Address To Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday addressed Nigerians in a live broadcast on the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Naija News reports that Buhari revealed strategies the federal government was taking to curb the virus.

See seven talking points in the coronavirus address below:

Lagos, Ogun and FCT Lockdown

Buhari said “based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020”.

“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

“We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

“This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care-related manufacturing and distribution.”

Payment of Stipends of the Most Vulnerable

Buhari said, “for the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately”.

“We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

“As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.”

Food Supply to IDPs For Two Months

The president also said food items will be distributed to internally displaced persons for two months.

“Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks,” the president said. He expressed gratitude to the private sector for standing up to the challenge.

“We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

“At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.”

Buhari Govt Suspend Loan Repayment

He said: “I have directed that a three-month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

“I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank.

“For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.”

FG to Convert Stadiums To Isolation Centres

The president “directed that all Federal Government Stadiums, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals”.

“My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.”

Buhari Stops Movement of Private Jets

The president also announced that the “movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

“We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.”

Journalists and Some Others are Exempted

There were a few exemptions to most of the president’s orders on shutdowns. According to him, “commercial establishments such as;

food processing, distribution and retail companies;
petroleum distribution and retail entities,
power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
private security companies are also exempted.
Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.”

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Coronavirus: President Buhari Addresses Nigerians (Full Text)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday addressed Nigerians in a live telecast from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Naija News reports that the live television broadcast was aired by 7 pm.

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020

  1.  Fellow Nigerians,
  2.  From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.
  3.  The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.
  4.  Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.
  5.   By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.
  6.  Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.
  7.  As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.
  8.  We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.
  9.   For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.
  10.   As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.
  11.   Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.
  12.   Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.
  13.   Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.
  14.   Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.
  15.    In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.
  16.   First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.
  17.    To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.
  18.   Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.
  19.   In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.
  20.   Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.
  21.    I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.
  22.   As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.
  23.   This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.
  24.    We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.
  25.   Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.
  26.   So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of ad-hoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.
  27.   I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.
  28.    This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.
  29.   As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.
  30.   As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.
  31.   Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.
  32.   The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.
  33.   We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.
  34.   Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.
  35.   All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.
  36.   The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.
  37.   We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.
  38.    This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.
  39.   Furthermore, commercial establishments  such as;
  40.   food processing, distribution and retail companies;
  41.   petroleum distribution and retail entities,
  42.   power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
  43.  private security companies are also exempted.
  44.   Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.
  45.   Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.
  46.   All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.
  47.   Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.
  48.   Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.
  49.   Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.
  50.   We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.
  51.   However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.
  52.   As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.
  53.   For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.
  54.   Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.
  55.   Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.
  56.   I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.
  57.   For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.
  58.   For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.
  59.   We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.
  60.   As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.
  61.   This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.
  62.    My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.
  63.   We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.
  64.   At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.
  65.   I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.
  66.   Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.
  67.   I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.
  68.   I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.
  69.   I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

President Muhammadu Buhari

29th March 2020.

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politics

Coronavirus: Presidency Denies Plan To Pay N30,000 Stipends To Nigerians

The Presidency has denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N30,000 stipends to be given to every Nigerian with a verified Bank Verification Number (BVN) to cushion hardships occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Naija News reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said the federal government is considering giving out stipends to people whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Finance Minister made this revelation while speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV.

According to her, “We have a number of fiscal incentives that we have thought through and designed but we have to do a couple of engagements before we announce them because of our fragile fiscal situation,” she said.

“We don’t want to rush and make announcements of tax cuts or tax holidays without looking at the full picture of how it affects the federal government, states and how it affects businesses.

“The government is looking at the possibility of giving out stipends, increasing the stipends that it giving out to the category of Nigerians that are classified as poor and vulnerable.

“Also, we are looking at the category of citizens that have been affected by the nature of their jobs by this pandemic. For example, airports are closed so people who run taxi services at the airport will be at home with nothing to do. So we have to carefully identify the groups that will get these interventions. We are also not forgetting businesses.”

Another report emerged on social media claiming that the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, announced the presidential approval of the N30,000 package in a statement.

”The President announced the relief package to be given out N30,000 to every Nigerian who has a verified BVN account to ease pressure posed by the order to lockdown economic activities.

“The N30,000 relief fund will be given to every Nigerian with verified BVN account. I am sure the fund will go a long way to help Nigerians stock up their home during the stay-at-home order by the Government,” the statement had quoted Adesina as saying.

But in a post on his verified twitter handle on Saturday, Adesina described the report as fake news.

He said: “Fake news peddlers have concocted a statement, purportedly issued by me, saying FG will pay N30,000 to each Nigerian with BVN, to help them stock up before an impending national lockdown. Not me.

”The so-called statement is hereby disclaimed.”

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Coronavirus: Buhari Govt To Give Stipends To Nigerians – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is considering giving out stipends to people whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Naija News reports that the Finance Minister made this revelation while speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV.

According to her, “We have a number of fiscal incentives that we have thought through and designed but we have to do a couple of engagements before we announce them because of our fragile fiscal situation,” she said.

“We don’t want to rush and make announcements of tax cuts or tax holidays without looking at the full picture of how it affects the federal government, states and how it affects businesses.

“The government is looking at the possibility of giving out stipends, increasing the stipends that it giving out to the category of Nigerians that are classified as poor and vulnerable.

“Also, we are looking at the category of citizens that have been affected by the nature of their jobs by this pandemic. For example, airports are closed so people who run taxi services at the airport will be at home with nothing to do. So we have to carefully identify the groups that will get these interventions. We are also not forgetting businesses.”

The Finance Minister said the government is still trying to determine the method of disbursing the funds and ensuring maximum impact given Nigeria’s large population.

Ahmed, however, said the economy would enter a recession if the health crisis lasts up to six months.

“Are we broke, no we are not broke. Are we buoyant, we are not buoyant as well. We have resources to manage and we have been able to find new sources of funds to realise very quickly to keep the country stable,” she said.

“Fact is, we are going to struggle in terms of revenue. The federal and state government will be frantically looking for alternative sources of funding in the form of budget support.

“We are hopeful that this pandemic will be limited in time. If it is an average of three months, we should be able to close the year with positive growth. If it goes longer than that, six months, one year, we will go into a recession.”

The Finance Minister said the federal government is already talking with lenders to renegotiate repayment terms and “seek a stay of the debt service to preserve some of the revenue”.

Meanwhile, Naija News reports that Nigeria’s revenue has taken a hit after its major source of income, crude oil, witnessed a sharp price decline.

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Nigeria Records 14 New Covid-19 Cases, Coronavirus In Nigeria Now 65

Nigeria has recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus in the West African country.

Naija News reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this in a tweet on the micro-blogging site, Twitter on Thursday evening, March 26.

According to the NCDC, of the fourteen coronaviruses recorded on Thursday evening, six were detected on a vessel, three are returning travellers into Nigeria and one is a close contact of a confirmed case.

The NCDC tweeted: “14 new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 2 in FCT, 12 in Lagos.

“Of the 14, 6 were detected on a vessel, 3 are returning travellers into Nigeria & 1 is close contact of a confirmed case.

“As at 8:35 pm 26th March, there are 65 confirmed cases, 3 discharged, 1 death,” the tweet added.

Meanwhile, the development means Lagos now has 44 cases, FCT- 12, Ogun- 3, Ekiti- 1, Oyo- 1, Edo- 1, Bauchi-1, Osun-1, Rivers-1, bringing the number of cases recorded in the country to 65 confirmed case.

The NCDC added in its tweet that: “Further epidemiological information will be shared in our daily situation report, collated at midnight of each day.”

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After Meeting Covid-19 Infected Abba Kyari, Lai Mohammed Coronavirus Test Result Emerges

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has tested negative for Coronavirus.

Naija News reports that the minister disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Thursday, days after meeting Covid-19 infected Abba Kyari.

The minister said the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is doing everything possible to halt the spread of the COVID–19 pandemic in the country.

His words: “I did my test and the report came out this morning that I am negative and that is why I am here to address you.

“Every member of the presidential task force went for the test. However, I am not at liberty to tell you their status.

“My own result was given to me personally just like every other person,” the minister said.

On why he has not gone into isolation after testing negative, Mohammed said he, like his other colleagues in the task force, are taking precautionary measures.

The minister said they were abiding by the rules of social distancing and personal hygiene and the task force meets by teleconferencing when the need arises.

He said giving the importance and volume of the assignment of the task force, which is responsible for the policy directive on COVID-19, the members could not go into isolation after testing negative.

On Tuesday, President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari tested positive for the virus.  Reports had emerged earlier suggesting that Lai Mohammed might have contracted the virus after meeting Kyari but the rumour has, however, been put to rest with the emergence of a negative result for the Information Minister.

Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed Coronavirus test result is coming a day after Nigeria recorded five new cases of coronavirus with cases in the country rising to 51.

On Thursday, a sigh of relief was received when the Lagos state government disclosed that six of the patients being treated for the coronavirus disease have recovered.

The Special Assistant to the Lagos state governor on health, Tunde Ajayi, disclosed this on Twitter. He said the six patients will soon be discharged by the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the state.

“Six of our #COVID19 inpatients have recovered and will be discharged soon. There is something Lagos is doing right. Lagos takes the lead,” the Special Assistant to the Lagos state governor on health tweeted.

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Breaking: FG To Ban Inter-State Travel, Close All Motor Parks Over Coronavirus

The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has announced plans to ban the interstate movement of people as a strategy to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

Naija News reports that the decision of the Federal Government was disclosed by Bashir Ahmad, the Personal Assistant on New Media to President in a tweet on the micro-blogging site, Twitter on Thursday afternoon, March 26.

Quoting the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, to have made this announcement, Ahmad said in his tweet that the Buhari government will possibly close down all motor parks as part of measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The Presidential aide tweeted: “The Federal Government announces plans to ban inter-state travel and possibly close down all motor parks as part of measures to curtail the spread of the #Coronavirus, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed discloses the plans this afternoon,” the tweet added.

Meanwhile, this is coming a day after Nigeria recorded five new cases of coronavirus with cases in the country rising to 51.

On Thursday, a sigh of relief was received when the Lagos state government disclosed that six of the patients being treated for the coronavirus disease have recovered.

The Special Assistant to the Lagos state governor on health, Tunde Ajayi, disclosed this on Twitter. He said the six patients will soon be discharged by the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the state.

“Six of our #COVID19 inpatients have recovered and will be discharged soon. There is something Lagos is doing right. Lagos takes the lead,” the Special Assistant to the Lagos state governor on health tweeted.

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Breaking: Coronavirus: Fumigation of Buhari’s Offices, Aso Villa Begins

The Presidency has commenced intensive fumigation of the Presidential Villa over the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Punch, fumigation experts arrived at the Villa about 9.30 am to begin the exercise, which a source said would cover all the offices at the Presidential Villa.

As of 11.15 am, the experts were already in the main building housing the office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the floors, corridors, and major pathways.

Naija News recalls that Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

The Presidential aide is suspected to have contracted the disease during a recent trip to Germany, which the federal government had labelled a high-risk country.

Since returning from the trip abroad, Kyari has had contacts with several prominent persons including Buhari, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Babagana Kingibe, a prominent member of the ‘cabal’ and Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.

Aliko Dangote, Governor Bello Masari of Katsina and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, are among others that Kyari came in contact with.

Meanwhile, President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tested negative to the deadly coronavirus.

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politics

President Buhari’s New Coronavirus Test Result Released

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has tested negative for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Naija News reports that this was disclosed in a statement issued by the Presidency on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking on President Buhari’s coronavirus test result, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said the President’s “status is a thing of joy.”

Meanwhile, Naija News reports that President Buhari’s test result is coming out on the day Nigeria recorded two new cases of coronavirus in the country.

This was announced in a tweet on the micro-blogging site, Twitter on Wednesday morning, March 25 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to the NCDC, the cases are returning travellers to Nigeria in the last seven days. The centre added that as at 07:00 am March 25th, 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Nigeria, noting that two have been discharged with one death recorded.

“Two new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 1 in Lagos and 1 in Osun.

“Both cases are returning travellers to Nigeria in the last 7 days.

“As at 07:00 am 25th March, there are 46 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria. 2 have been discharged with 1 death,” NCDC tweeted.

On Tuesday, the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari tested positive for the virus. President Buhari was said to have tested negative but a report emerged earlier today suggesting that the President’s condition had worsened after the test.

The rumour has, however, been put to rest with the emergence of a negative result for the President.

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Breaking: FG Directs Public Servants To Work From Home Over Coronavirus

The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has directed public servants to work from home in order to check the spread of coronavirus.

Naija News reports that the Head of Service ​of the Federation, Yemi Esan, gave this directive in a memo on Monday, March 23.

The Head of Service ​of the Federation said from Tuesday, public servants on level 12 should stay away from work while those who would remain at work should limit the number of visitors that they receive.

“As you are no doubt aware, the Federal Government has taken a number of measures to manage the identified cases of COVID – 1 9 and curtail its spread,” the memo read.

“Government is concerned about the welfare and safety of all public servants just as it is about other Nigerians. All public servants are, therefore, strongly advised to follow the measures being put in place by government to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

“As a further step to check the spread of COVID-19, all non-essential pubiic servants on grade level 12 and below are to work from home with effect from Tuesday 24th March, 2020 until further notice.

“All other categories of officers who will be at work, are strongly advised to limit the number of visitors they receive to the barest minimum. This is to reduce physical contact as much as possible.”

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News

Buhari Cancels Guinea Trip Over Coronavirus

President Muhammadu Buhari has been forced to cancel an official trip to Guinea as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This was made known to Sahara Reporters on Friday by a top official of the Federal Government.

The source revealed that Buhari alongside presidents of Ghana, Ivory Coast and Niger were supposed to arrive Guinea this weekend ahead of a rescheduled referendum in that country.

But such plans have now been shelved as a result of the rapid rate at which the pandemic was spreading on the continent.

President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, plans to amend the country’s constitution in order to keep his hold on power despite already serving two terms of five years each that elapses at the end of this year.

The situation has led to widespread violence in the West African country with at least 31 civilians and a policeman killed already.

The referendum should have held on March 1 but was moved to March 22, which has eventually been put on hold as a result of of the deadly virus.

Naija News recalls that the Buhari government had earlier restricted 15 high-risk countries from entering Nigeria.

The countries are Sweden, Austria, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.

According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus (COVID-19), Boss Mustapha, these are all countries with over 1,000 cases.

Effective from today, Saturday, 21st March, 2020, persons arriving from these countries will be subjected to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days.

The restrictions are for four weeks and subject to review.

There are currently 12 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria.

Categories
politics

How Ajimobi Emerged APC Deputy Chair Despite Protest – Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has revealed that majority of the South-west had backed former Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as new National Deputy Chairman (South).

He made this known while speaking with State House correspondents on Friday after introducing Ajimobi to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Naija News reports that Ajimobi replaced the current Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, as National Deputy Chairman (South).

On why Ajimobi was still given the position, despite the protest by the Ekiti State chapter of the APC, where Adebayo represented, Oshiomhole said that the protest by one of the six states in the south-west region was not enough to stop the former governor.

He said: “We have six states in the South-West where the seat was zoned. Ekiti is the only one opposing it. As we always say, majority had their way and the minority had their say. That’s all.”

On why he was at the Presidential Villa, the APC National Chairman said he had come to introduce the new National Deputy Chairman (South) to Buhari.

Oshiomhole said: “I came to present or reintroduce Senator Ajimobi, whom the South-West nominated into the position of Deputy National Chairman, to Mr President. He has filled the vacancy created when Mr President appointed Adebayo as a minister.

“The President was excited and delighted to see him as one who will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the party.”

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News

ICPC Arrests ‘Wanted’ Ex-SPIP Boss, Obono-Obla

Suspended chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, has been arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Naija News reports that the Wanted Ex-SPIP boss was arrested by the anti-graft agency on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

A report monitored on PREMIUM TIMES by Naija News said Obono-Obla, who was declared wanted by ICPC for allegedly refusing to honour its investigation, was picked up in an undisclosed location in the Federal Capital Territory.

The report said that the former special assistant to the president on prosecution who had in the past claimed he was not aware of his suspension, was undergoing medicals at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in the capital city.

Confirming the development, Rasheedah Okodowa, ICPC spokesperson, said Obono-Obla was arrested Friday afternoon, “Yes, he is in our custody. Mr Obono-Obla was arrested a few hours ago in Abuja. Details will be communicated to the public,” she said.

However, The ICPC spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Obono-Obla was undergoing medicals, saying the agency has its own procedures for taking suspects into its custody.”
Removed by Buhari.

Meanwhile, Naija News recalls that in August 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Obono-Obla from office with an instruction that the suspension order took immediate effect.

In a letter dated, August 14, 2019, and signed by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Obono-Obla was accused of “falsification of records and financial impropriety.”

The letter read in part; “I write to convey the directive of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for your suspension from office as Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect.

“This suspension shall subsist until the conclusion of the ICPC investigations into cases of alleged falsification of records and financial impropriety against your person.

“You are required by this instruction to strictly observe and comply with the provisions of PSR 030405 (a-c) of the Public Service Rules. For the avoidance of doubt, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, shall be the authority to whom you shall report.”

Categories
Education

FG Shuts Down Schools Nationwide Over Coronavirus In Nigeria

The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions and unity schools across the nation as a measure to check coronavirus in Nigeria.

Naija News reports that the permanent secretary of the ministry of education, Sonny Echono, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday night, March 19.

“We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately. Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,” he said in a statement.

The statement said the federal government has also directed the principals of unity colleges nationwide to shut down.

“The Federal Government has ordered the closure of all the 104 Unity Schools in the country on the 26th of March, 2020 as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus,” Ben Goong, director of press in the ministry of education, said in a statement.

“Giving the order today through the Permanent Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, said all the Principals of the Unity Colleges should fast track the on-going second term examinations and close shop until further notice.

“In the meantime, the Minister said the management of all the Unity Colleges should immediately activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol-based sanitizers, and handwashing facilities among others, adding that students should strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.”

Naija News reports that the statement said the principals were directed to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities.

Meanwhile, Nigeria currently has 12 active coronavirus cases in the West African country. The federal government has taken many measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Categories
News

Just In: Buhari’s Daughter In Isolation Over Coronavirus

One of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in self-isolation over the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).

Naija News reports that this was disclosed by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari.

Aisha Buhari said although her daughter did not show any symptoms of the virus, she went into self-isolation after returning from the UK.

Recall that four new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease were confirmed in Lagos State.

The Lagos Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, confirmed the four fresh cases at a news briefing on Thursday.

The latest additions increase confirmed cases in Nigeria to 12 after the Minister of Health on Wednesday confirmed 5 new cases.

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News

Biafra: Why Buhari Cannot Address Nigerians On Coronavirus – Nnamdi Kanu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, says President Muhammadu Buhari cannot address Nigerians on the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) because he would be exposed as an impostor.

Naija News reports that President Buhari has failed to address Nigerians on Coronavirus in Nigeria despite the disease spreading with the country confirming fresh five cases.

Displeased with the President’s continued silence, lawmakers called President Buhari to give an update on what his “Next Level” government was doing to address the issue of Coronavirus.

Reacting to the President’s continued silence on the matter, Kanu claimed that President Buhari would be unmasked as Jubril Al-Sudan (Buhari’s alleged impostor) if allowed to address a press conference on the scourge of Coronavirus.

In a statement he personally signed, the IPOB leader said Buhari has no interest in the disease infecting Nigerians, adding that:  “A country in the world where lawmakers beg a supposedly democratically elected president to address them in a time of unprecedented global pandemic.

“For starters and for the benefit of those intellectually challenged Nigerians:

“Nigeria is NOT a nation and can never be. What it is according to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is a mere geopolitical expression created by a Scottish man and christened “Nigeria” by his English concubine, for purely British economic interest. Anybody referring to Nigeria as a nation cannot be regarded as an intelligent being.

“Jubril Al-Sudani masquerading as Buhari cannot address the hapless British experimental Guineapigs named ‘Nigerians’ because Abba Kyari and the rest of the cabal are afraid that he will be unmasked during cross-examination by journalists. He will be forced to stand for hours, up close and personal as other heads of state around, the world have done and continue to do, to answer searching questions about Covid-19. Jubril is a Sudanese citizen, he has no interest if Coronavirus kills all inhabitants of Nigeria. What Abba Kyari dictates is what he does.

“Sadly, Abba Kyari and his fellow handlers of the Zoo Republic will dare not hold an open press conference in the garden of their Aso Rock because that is tantamount to exposing their fake Buhari because they know the heat of the sun will inevitably melt Jubril’s makeup and a combination of close proximity of TV camera lens and questions from journalists will complete the process of unraveling the Fulani fraud of the century. Let them try and see. The world is waiting,” the IPOB leader opined.

Meanwhile, this is coming after the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, bringing the total number of cases in the country to eight.

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News

Just In: Reps Issue Directive To Buhari Govt Over Coronavirus

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government to ban all large gatherings in Nigeria to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The Green Chamber made the call while urging the federal government to postpone the National Sports Festival.

The resolution followed a motion of matters of urgent public importance moved by Luke Onofiok.

Reacting to the motion, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said that to do otherwise would be “irresponsible”.

Naija News reports that the federal government of Nigeria bowed to pressure and postponed the National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020.

This development was confirmed by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

He noted that the decision is not unconnected with the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria and the need to safeguard the citizens of the country.

According to a tweet from the presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the postponement of the 2020 National Sports Festival, as a precautionary move against COVID-19 after he was briefed this morning (Tuesday) by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development and the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora.

Recall that a third case of the coronavirus disease was on Tuesday confirmed in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital city.

The patient is an independent case not connected with the index case of the Italian man.

She is a 30-year-old Nigerian female who returned from the United Kingdom on Friday, 13 March 2020, observed self-isolation, developed symptoms and has been tested positive.