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COVID-19: FG suspends evacuation of stranded Nigerians

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The Federal Government has suspended the further evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad pending when a new protocol already designed for that purpose will start.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, announced this during at the task force press conference.

Onyeama said the new arrangement would require citizens returning from overseas to be tested before their flights back home.

The minister said,

“Now, there is going to be a change in that protocol and that is going to affect the timing of any further evacuation that we are going to undertake.

“So, anybody that is going to be evacuated will, first of all, undergo a test from the country they are leaving from, at least five days before travel and not later than nine days before travel.

“That would be a pre-condition for boarding a flight to Nigeria;  so a pre-flight test and if it’s positive, of course, they would not be able to get on the flight; if they are negative, they can get on the flight.”

Onyeama said after the tests abroad, those who tested positive would be required to stay back for treatment, noting that only individuals who returned negative would be allowed to board the flight.

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According to him, the samples of the returnees would be taken on arrival in the country and their passports confiscated, adding that they would go on self-isolation in their homes.

The development is a departure from the previous arrangement where evacuees were quarantined in hotels for 14 days.

At least, 1,000 individuals evacuated from the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and lately, Lebanon has been quarantined in hotels in Lagos and Abuja. Three returnees from the UAE returned positive.

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Onyeama also disclosed that billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, and other private sector players had set up testing units which would take samples from passengers coming off the plane, adding that the results would be available within two days.

He said anyone who tested negative would still be required to spend more days to complete the 14-day isolation period after which they could collect their passports.

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On the number of positive tests among returnees, Onyeama disclosed that only the three cases reported in respect of the UAE returnees in Lagos were positive.

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Policemen allegedly storm Joy Nunieh’s home ahead of appearance before house committee

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The home of former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joy Nunieh is reportedly surrounded by Policemen.

She is scheduled to testify before a House of Reps panel today July 16, as part of the ongoing probe of NDDC.

Media personality, Fisayo Soyomobo said the policemen arrived at Dr Joy Nunieh’s residence at 3 Owuru Creek View, off Herbert Macaulay Street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt at about 4 am. He said this means the former Acting MD of the NDDC cannot leave for the Port Harcourt International Airport where she should be connecting a flight to Abuja.

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He tweeted;

Dozens of policemen are circling the House of Joy Nunieh, the former MD of NDDC, who is scheduled to testify before a House of Reps panel today as part of the ongoing probe of NDDC.

The policemen arrived at Nunieh’s residence at 3 Owuru Creek View, off Herbert Macaulay Street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt, at about 4am. Their presence means she cannot leave for the Port Harcourt International Airport where she should be connecting a flight to Abuja.

Nunieh recently accused Niger Delta Minister Godswil Akpabio of trying to “come up” on her after failing to bribe her and convince her to take an oath of secrecy in Abuja.

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See Tweet below;

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Lagos set to launch MSME hub, e-commerce platform

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Lagos State Government has engaged the Lagos State Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, to discuss the challenges facing the sector due to COVID-19, promising to provide a workable solution that would help ameliorate the problems facing entrepreneurs in the State.

 Addressing members of the MSMEs in Ikeja, the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande, assured that the outcome of the meeting would further be discussed at the forthcoming Corporate Assembly scheduled for 23rd July, 2020 with Mr. Governor.

She explained that the Council meeting on MSME is an instrument through which technical, financial and other business support linkages are promoted between MSME operators, public/private local and institutional support agencies in the State and at Federal level.

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The Commissioner disclosed that plans are already being perfected by the State Government to launch Lagos MSME Hub and E-Commerce platform as a way of enhancing on-line trading and capacity building for the MSMEs operators where they would be exposed to various market opportunities, financial linkages, networking, mentoring and how to embrace innovative approaches to their businesses.

Dr. Akande averred that the State Government will continue to design and administer policies, initiatives and intervention that would help to enhance, promote, attract and harness the potentials of MSMEs for the development of the State economy and Nigeria at large.

According to her,

“The State Government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, is also planning to establish a Fashion Hub Centre in Gberigbe, Ikorodu to take the fashion industry to the next level as well as meeting up with international standards”. 

“Also, an industrial estate is ongoing at Imota Light Industrial Estate, Ikorodu to provide accommodation for our small-scale industrialists with modern facilities that would be heavily subsidised”, she added.

The Commissioner averred that these plans are being put in place under the present administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, in response to some challenges confronting the sector and as a way of engendering growth, development and sustainability of MSMEs towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in the State.

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In her remarks, the Chairman of Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI, Lagos, Mrs Gertrude Akhimien urged the State Government to develop a comprehensive programme for mass establishment of cottages/small scale entrepreneurship across the State through the setting up of more industrial clusters.

The Chairman, who commended the Lagos State Government for being proactive in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, said that the development has made it imperative to ramp up economic activities to forestall imminent economic recession and its attendant risks.

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She, however, challenged the State government to take urgent steps on tighter labour laws and actionable job creation projects, adding that, with the collaborative effort from both the private sector and the state government, making Lagos a 21st-century economy can be achieved.

 

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Nigeria records 643 new COVID-19 cases, total now 34,259

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Nigeria has reported 643 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 34,259.

This is according to the latest figures released on Wednesday night in a tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The new cases were recorded in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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Lagos State maintained its lead position with 230 new infections while the FCT recorded 51 cases.

The remaining 17 states with new infections are Oyo – 69, Edo – 43, Osun – 35, Rivers and Ebonyi each having 30 cases, Kaduna – 28, Ogun – 27, Ondo – 23, Plateau – 20, Benue – 17, Enugu – 16 and Imo – 10.

MORE READING!  Nigeria records 643 new COVID-19 cases, total now 34,259

Others include Delta – 6, Kano – 4, Nasarawa – 2 with Kebbi, and Ekiti each having 1 case.

NCDC noted that a total of 13,999 patients have recovered and have been discharged, while the country’s death toll stands at 760.

 

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