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COVID-19: FG direct workers to work from home till June 11

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As part of modalities put in place to curb the spread of deadly strains of COVID-19 in the country, the Federal Government on Monday announced the extension of work-from-home order for civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below.

This was made known by the Presidential Steering Committee On COVID-19 domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Committee revealed that henceforth civil servants will continue to work from home till June 11, 2021, after which the directive may be reviewed.

The precautionary measure was set up amid concerns about deadly COVID-19 strains in India, South Africa, Turkey and Brazil, the government also reintroduced some measures which were put in place during the second COVID-19 wave in Nigeria which include restricted gatherings at worship centres and banned night clubs.

According to World Health Organisation Regional Virologist, Dr Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, B.1.351 variant of the coronavirus, first found in South Africa, was spreading in 23 African countries.

As of Sunday, Africa had recorded 4,673,466 cases. South Africa with 1.59 million cases has the highest number of infections in the continent.

Nigeria has so far recorded 165,419 cases of the virus out of which 2,065 have died while 156,300 have been discharged.

India, whose cases have attracted global attention following shortage of oxygen and hospital spaces, has recorded 22,991,927 infections.

To prevent a similar occurrence in Nigeria, the National Incident Manager, Mukhtar Mohammed at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday said a nationwide curfew would be introduced from midnight of Monday. He said the curfew would run from 12 midnight till 4am daily.

He also said gatherings for worship or weddings should not be more than 50 per cent capacity.

For civil servants, he said, “All Government staff on GL. 12 and below are to continue to stay at home until 11th June, 2021;

“Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives to be held accountable for enforcing NPI rules in their domains with frequent spot checks; and

“Ensure that all NPIs are observed. Mandatory and proper use of face masks in all government premises.”

For non-government workers, the official said, “Encourage virtual meetings by offices. Avoid large meetings, decongest offices and ensure they are well-ventilated;

“Encourage staff to work from home where possible;

“Mobile courts to enforce on-the-spot fines and close premises that repeatedly violate rules;

“Mandatory use of face masks and other NPIs. no face mask, no entry;

“Personalised services to ensure face masks are worn when selling goods or providing services and ensure provision of sanitizers and appropriate PPEs to all workers; and

“Encourage the use of approved Ag-Rapid Diagnostic Tests as recommended in the guidance for the use of approved COVID-19 AG-RDTS in Nigeria (on NCDC website).”

Mohammed said security agents had been saddled with the responsibility of enforcing all the non-pharmaceutical measures put in place by the government.

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Politics

FFK’s Admission Into APC, A Symbolic Presidential Amnesty – Kayode Ajulo

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FFK’s Admission Into APC, A Symbolic Presidential Amnesty – Kayode Ajulo

Dr. Kayode Ajulo, a legal practitioner, has described Femi Fani – Kayode’s (FFK) admission into the APC as a ‘symbolic presidential amnesty’, considering his past attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ajulo said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, against the backdrop of FFK’s recent defection to the APC.

He said the APC was magnanimous to have received FFK, irrespective of the fact that some persons including some party members might not be happy with the development.

”FFK’s past attacks on President Buhari and the APC had unwittingly influenced passions in some quarters, for armed and unarmed agitations against the President and the Nigerian state.”

Fani Kayode-Crystal News

Fani Kayode-Crystal News

He recalled that FFK had suggested on different occasions with his tweets, that the APC government was filled with terrorists.

Ajulo, however, said that the commendable magnanimity of President Buhari to FFK should be extended to various agitators across the country as a basis for amnesty.

According to him, amnesty in this context is not to be viewed from the strict standpoint of legal knowledge, rather the ordinary meaning is desirable.

“For our immediate purpose, therefore, amnesty means forgiveness, cessation of remembrance of wrong, leniency, and mercy,” he said.

READ ALSO: APC Postpones State Congresses, Announces New Date

He stated that it might not be wrong to state that the symbolic ‘amnesty’ granted to FFK by the President and the APC almost came on a platter of gold.

“The symbolism by the President signposts the fact that the vilest of ‘sinner’ in his lucid moment of thorough reflections, can be granted safe passage toward the “mercy seat,” he said.

Ajulo admitted that FFK is misunderstood man and has a controversial personality.

According to him, haven been given the benefit of ‘eating his cake and having it, the same level of understanding, leniency, and mercy should be extended to his allies.

He said some of the agitations by secessionists had not gone without the open endorsement and support of FFK.

He advised FFK to totally divest himself of his divisive un-nationalistic past.

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Sanwo-Olu Seeks Innovative Solutions For Cardiovascular Disease Patients

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has tasked the Nigeria Cardiac Society, (NCS) to develop innovative solutions and reinvent methods to reach out to patients with cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr Olusegun Ogboye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos state, made the call at the 50th anniversary and scientific conference of the NCS in Lagos.

The theme of the conference was : “Delivering Cardiovascular Care in Emergency and Disaster Situations”.

”Science and technology has successfully made life easier and better through several inventions and innovations, such as telemedicine and use of artificial intelligence in the health sector.

“As we are aware, people with underlying health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, are more at risk of the severity of COVID-19 complications.

”The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed in 2016 that non-communicable diseases are estimated to account for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria.

”With cardiovascular diseases being responsible for 11 per cent of these deaths and also responsible for a high burden of morbidity and disability leading to strokes and others.

“These statistics serve as a pointer to the fact that cardiovascular diseases have somewhat dire consequences when not properly and closely monitored,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that in Lagos state telemedicine has been integrated into our health care system.
“It is one of the innovations we have embraced from the lessons COVID-19 has taught the world.

“I remain proud of all the great strides and achievements of the society, being the first cardiac society to perform an open heart surgery in black Africa.

“This society has contributed to manpower training in cardiovascular medicine and surgery,” Sanwo-Olu added.

Speaking, Dr Okechukwu Ogah, President, Nigerian Cardiac Society said there was a need to collaborate with basic, social and public health scientists in order to advance our research in common cardiovascular health conditions in the country.

Ogah said that in recent time there had been remarkable contributions of our members in the areas of congenital heart disease, hypertension, COVID-19 and other heart diseases.
“We are also working with the World Heart Federation(WHF) and Federal Ministry of Health in many areas to tame the growing burden of Non-communicable Diseases.

”It is no doubt that we are working in very difficult terrain at a time the world is bedeviled by a pandemic, “he said.

Oga noted that locally, they were facing a very disruptive health care system, massive migration of health workers, economic down turn, devaluation of our currency and high cost of drugs.

“We therefore, use this opportunity to call on our governments at all levels to look into the plights of our patients and those who provide the care.

”We thank all the public and private health institutions that have added value to the practice of cardiovascular medicine in Nigeria.

“At the founding of our society, there were very few human and material resources to take care of the cardiovascular needs of the country.

”Today cardiac care services are provided in many tertiary centres and private-owned super-specialty cardiac care services are springing up, but currently affordable to the rich in the country, “he said.

Sanwo-Olu Seeks Innovative Solutions For Cardiovascular Disease Patients

Oga called on the Federal and State Governments to embrace universal health coverage and provide the enabling legal framework and resources in Nigeria.

Also contributing, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference said that the time was apt for us to deliberate on the best way to deliver cardiovascular care during these periods.

Mbakwem said that the level of environmental degradation, global warming, encroachment on the natural habitats of some of the hosts or carriers of these pathogens, no one was sure what happens next.

”However, come what may, we would innovate and look after our patients in a safe and effective manner.

“The problems of cardiovascular care delivery are magnified in our environment with very weak and fragile infrastructure and health systems.

”During this conference, we will take a critical look at how far we have come as a society as we attain the golden jubilee age.

“In this conference, we have three generations of cardiologists; founding fathers, the cardiovascular care professionals of today and our young fellows,” she said

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Business

CBN Sets To Roll Out E-naira October 1

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CBN Denies Non Remittance Of 80% Surpluses-Crystal News

The director of Information Technology, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Rukiya Mohammed, on Wednesday said the apex bank has concluded plans to launch the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on October 1.

Mohammed disclosed this in a webinar, themed “Digital currency and the prospects of CBDC in Nigeria”, organized by the committee of e-Business in industry Heads Nigeria (CeBIH).

Mohammed said that the use of digital payment was rising while cash payment was declining both in Nigeria and globally.

She said that over 85 per cent of Central Banks worldwide were considering digital currency and so CBN was also innovative to cope with global trends.

“CBDC would contribute to macro-economic growth in the country, if people adopt more of the usage of the e-naira, it would enhance more data to formulate macro economic policies.

“Also, when more countries have their own digital currencies, it would increase exchange of currency and be able to build cross border trade at lower cost.

“Even though Nigeria has a good payment system, this would also improve Nigeria’s payments efficiency,“ she said.

She said the CBN has partnered with a lot of experts in digital currency technology providers such as MasterCard, came up with the design and would soon publish the design.

“CBN would focus on low amount payments at the introductory stage, instant settlement with low cost.

“CBDC would be legal tender with one e-naira equivalent to one naira which shows fundamental differences between CBDC and crypto currencies,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Adesola Adedutan, Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria, said that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBDC was a game changer that would provide an alternative payment system and would radically transform the payment landscape.

Adedutan, who was represented by the Banks deputy chief executive, Mr Francis Soba, said CBDC provides a platform for the government to leverage blockchain technology to maintain a centralised and institutional role over of the currency.

‘’It should be noted that there are significant differences between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies,” he said.

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