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Suspend payment for water, electricity for two months, lawmaker tells Buhari

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Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force, Rep. Shehu Koko has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to extend her palliatives for COVID-19 to include suspension of payment of electricity and water bills for ordinary Nigerians for two months as a result of dwindling economic fortunes.

The lawmaker who represents Maiyama/Koko/Besse Federal Constituency (APC) Kebbi State said in a statement in Abuja that while government directives stopping the repayment on trader moni and other soft loans, electricity and water supply was critical to the people.

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Koko said:

Our country is going through trying times just like the international communities. While we continue to pray for God to come to our rescue, I urge the Federal government to provide basic amenities like water and electricity at no cost especially those at the grassroots level without interruption.

“This I believe will go a long way to assist the federal government’s decision to provide relief materials to citizens this period. Though these amenities are private sector driven, we urge the government to intervene and ameliorate the sufferings of the people.”

While commending President Buhari’s order to shutdown states mostly infected with the virus for two weeks, he described the action as a step in the right direction.

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Koko said the Government should include suspension of payment for basic amenities while calling on Nigerians especially his constituents to adhere to the stay at home order in line with government’s directive starting Tuesday 31st March.

“I will also use this trying period to educate my constituents on the danger of Coronavirus and preventive ways to contain the virus for a better Nigeria,” he said.

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JUST IN: NDDC headquarters shuts down over COVID-19 scare

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The management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has shut down the commission’s corporate headquarters following COVID-19 scare.

The coronavirus scare, it was gathered, was triggered by the death of a member of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC, Mr Ibanga Etang.

Etang, who until his death, was the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration reportedly died at about 2 am on Thursday at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), Port Harcourt after a brief illness.

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An internal memo signed for the management by Silas Anyanwu directed informed all employees that the headquarters of the commission would be shut down for two weeks with immediate effect.

“Consequently, all activities of the commission including ongoing matters are hereby shut down,” the memo said.

Details shortly…

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VSF supports Edo IDPs with COVID-19 palliatives

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The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has supported the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable Nigerians in Edo State with palliatives to help cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VSF Team was led by the Chairperson of the VSF Task Force on COVID-19, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji who was in the company of the Edo State government that was ably represented by the wife of the Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki.

This comes as the country battles over 8700 cases of the respiratory illness that has affected economies across the globe, including that of Nigeria.

MyNigeria.com reports that the VSF palliative was in the form of 200 bags set that contained 10kg of rice, 10kg of beans, 10kg of garri, 4kg of vegetable oil and 2 small packets of salt per bag.

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During the course of delivery of the items, additional bags of foodstuff were added to the initial amount by compassionate officials of VSF to the amazement IDPs Camp Uhogua.

Speaking on behalf of the management team of the camp, Coordinator of International Christian Centre (ICCM) and Coordinator of the Camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho said the VSF is Godsent for coming at this very critical time.

He said the lockdown caused by Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the welfare of the residents of the Camp.

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The visit to the IDPs Camp Uhogua was a response to an “SOS correspondence they recently received from CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development)” and the VSF intends to visit most states in Nigeria.

According to reports, the current cost of preparing a meal for the four thousand five hundred and seventy-five residents of the Camp is about three hundred thousand naira.

National Coordinator of CSED, Mr Edema Fuludu said that they were forced to reach out to VSF and other bodies having seen the plight of the people, though the CSED work is mainly sport/educational intervention.

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“We cannot afford to walk on by when the children/youths we work with are in dire needs of food and basic daily necessities,” Mr Fuludu said.

Mr Fuludu urged public-spirited individuals, corporate organisations and NGOs to continue to provide palliatives to the IDPs and other needy members of the society, as this is the only way they (vulnerable Nigerians) can survive the hunger and social isolation that has been induced by Covid-19.

He noted that “every effort put in touching the vulnerable in the society is the rent we pay to God for allowing us to live on planet earth.”

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Govt can’t risk reopening schools now – education minister

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No date yet for schools resumption – Education minister

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba,  said that the Federal Ministry of Education would not risk reopening schools across the country, until all preventive measures had been put in place.

He noted that various dates of resumption being circulated in some quarters were false, adding that the government would consider introducing afternoon classes to ease rowdiness.

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Nwajiuba said,

“We want to say that the announcement that we are reopening all schools on June 8 did not emanate from us. That is not true; until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them this COVID-19 material.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible within the guidance that we are offered, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, before we reopen schools.”

 

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