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COVID-19: Gombe suspends N30,000 minimum wage, slash political appointees’ salaries

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The Gombe State Government has suspended payment of the N30,000 minimum wage following dwindling finances due to the effect of coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Mr Manassah Jatau, the state Deputy Governor, said at a press briefing on Saturday in Gombe, that the decision was taken after consultation with the standing committee on minimum wage and relevant stakeholders.

According to him, the new minimum wage suspension is with effect from March 2020.

“The minimum wage increment and its consequential adjustments adopted by the state has been suspended until when the economy of the state improves.

“The Ministry of Finance is to review the 2020 budget to reflect the reduction in the price of oil in the international market and subsequent adoption of 30 dollars per barrel benchmark by the Federal Government.

In view of the above, all salaries of political office holders and Permanent Secretaries will be reviewed accordingly as a sacrifice to the state,” the deputy governor said.

He said that the state revenue service would be strengthened to perform better with a view to reducing the state’s over reliance on Federal allocations.

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Jatau added that the government would announce new austerity measures to further reduce financial leakage and enhance savings for the execution of necessary capital projects.

Mr Mohammed Musa, the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called on civil servants to remain calm and appreciate the current situation the state government had found itself.

“At the last federation allocation, Gombe State lost N800 million from its allocation due to the dwindling oil price at the international market,’’ he said.

The NLC chairman assured workers that the suspension is temporary, as full implementation of the minimum wage and payment of all arrears will commence when the state’s financial situation improves.

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La Liga clubs free to start full training from Monday

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Football: La Liga season to resume on June 11

Clubs in Spain’s top two soccer divisions can hold full training sessions from Monday for the first time since returning to activity after action was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers La Liga have said.

“Clubs will begin collective training on June 1 after the government’s latest health order on the easing of restrictions,” La Liga said in a statement on Saturday.

Teams returned to individual training at the start of May before progressing to training in groups of up 10 players two weeks later, and groups of 14 players from last Monday.

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The top-flight will resume on June 11 without fans attending, with Sevilla taking on Real Betis, and with matches potentially to be played every day of the week until the season is concluded on July 19.

All organised football in Spain was provisionally suspended on March 12 as the virus ravaged the country, but the rate of infection has slowed significantly.

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Thirty-nine people died in the last week compared with a daily death toll in the hundreds a month ago, the health ministry said on Friday.

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JUST IN: Wanted COVID-19 patient in Abia comes out of hiding

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The COVID-19 patient, Emmanuel Ononiwu, who was declared wanted by the Abia State Government after he bolted from a holding facility in Aba has reportedly submitted himself to the medical team for treatment.

This was disclosed Saturday afternoon by the Information Commissioner; Chief John Okiyi-Kalu.

According to Okiyi-Kalu, Ononiwu is now in medical custody and currently at the isolation centre in Amachara, Umuahia South Local Government Area of the state.

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Ononiwu was said to have reported at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Aba, with his family, including his wife, at 8.05 am Saturday.

He was said to have been immediately moved by a state rapid response ambulance to the Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Amachara, Umuahia, for isolation and management.

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Samples will be collected from his wife and other family members for testing while active contract tracing has commenced.

Meanwhile, three patients who are currently at the isolation centre, including the 19 years old man from Afugiri, Umuahia, 30 years old man from Ofeme, Umuahia, and the Olokoro Umuahia returnee from Lagos who came to plan the burial of a relation who died in Kano have recovered.

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They have tested negative to the virus two consecutive times and are expected to leave the facility Saturday, as arrangements have been concluded at the time of filing the report, for them to leave isolation facility.

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Family confirm Kabba Chief Imam died of coronavirus

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COVID-19: NGO tasks Kogi on strict enforcement of preventive measures

The family of Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu, has confirmed he died of coronavirus.

Kogi State Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been at loggerheads over COVID-19 cases in Kogi.

While NCDC insisted two cases were confirmed, the Government insisted the state is coronavirus-free.

But the family of Ejibunu told Kogi Government “to stop denying the obvious.”

Chief Tai Ejibunu, Obatebise of Oweland, in a statement by the family, said the Chief Imam exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 because he eventually tested positive after a referral from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja.

In the statement titled, “The COVID-19 Case Infection: Matters Arising, the family said:

“Our attention has been drawn to the series of discussions going on concerning Covid-19 index case in Kabba and the identity of the index case.

“I wish to affirm, on behalf of Ejibunu family, that the Chief Imam of Kabba, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Ejibunu, was down with flu some few days back and he had to be hospitalised at the Specialist Hospital in Kabba.

“Further medical attention was sought at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, as the flu did not abate after some days.

“At the FMC, he was referred to the National Hospital in Abuja and the test conducted on him by the NCDC showed that he was Covid-19 positive.

“The test conducted on one of his sons who had been with him since came out negative.”

It added:

“The family would have come out to speak on the matter but we were not comfortable with the ding dong game going on between the NCDC and the Kogi State government.

The family is concerned about the wellbeing of other and we wish to confirm that Covid-19 has found its way sadly into our community and the state.

“Therefore, no need for Kogi State government to deny the obvious.

“We would like to stress that the Chief Imam, of recent, had never ventured outside Kogi State by way of travelling outside the state. So, the ‘virus’ could have been contacted within.

“We wish to advise our people to please abide by the protocols emplaced by the NCDC and play safe.

“The family is cooperating with the Kogi State government and the NCDC to stem the spread.

“This evening, contact tracing and testing of family members of the Chief Imam had begun.

“What we need from our people is empathy and no need for the acrimonious exchange of views and counter views.

“May God save Oweland and her people in particular and the state in general.”

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