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Lockdown: FG Lifts Interstate Travel Ban, Set to Reopen Schools

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Lockdown: FG Lifts Interstate Travel Ban, Set to Reopen Schools

The Federal Government has extended the Phase Two of the eased lockdown by four weeks, but partially lifted the ban on interstate movement.

Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha disclosed this at a briefing Monday in Abuja.

 He said within this extended phase, there will also be a safe re-opening of schools to allow graduating students back to classes, while interstate movements would only take place outside curfew hours.

 Announcing the new measures, the SGF said;

“I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020, through Midnight of Monday, 27 July 2020.

“Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect: Maintaining the current phase of the national response for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatriated by the National Coordinator; Permission of movement across State borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July 2020; Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places; Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations and; Safe reopening of domestic aviation services as soon as practicable”.

 Only pupils in Primary Six and students in Junior and Senior Secondary Three would be allowed back to classes to write their terminal examinations. Non-compliance Mustapha lamented the continued and general non-compliance with safety measures, noting that Nigeria could experience a resurgence of Covid-19 infections.

 He said;

“The PTF also escalated its activities around risk communication to Nigerians but we have observed with growing concerned the non-compliances with these measures designed to prevent transmission and protect vulnerable segments of the population.

“We hold the strong view that if such actions do not abate, experiences of the resurgence of the virus from other jurisdictions including China, the United States of America, Brazil and across Europe may emerge in Nigeria and we run the risk of erasing the gains made in the last three months”.

According to him, the spread has entered the community phase which only States and local governments should drive, adding that the inaction of a particular State could endanger its neighbors and compromise the entirety of the response.

The SGF added that the Federal Government will predicate its resource deployment to States on the level of compliance and the extent of collaboration received on this public health emergency. Increased airfares Mustapha said there is a general increase in the prices of goods and services, saying airlines would have to increase their fares to remain afloat.

He said; “I think there is a general increase in everything, not only air tickets. If you go to the market now, the prices prior to Covid-19 are different from what you get in the market now. That is the difficult thing that is going to confront us as a people. Because of the protocols that are going to be introduced in the whole business of aviation, you would definitely expect an increase in the fares. The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria FAAN has already increased its customer service fare by 100 percent. It used to be ₦1000 but now it is ₦2000 even before the operations start.

So, it is not just the airlines, even the government institutions who have the responsibility of managing the aviation industry will review their charges because that is the nature of what Covid-19 has thrust on the people of the country and all over the world.

“Also, there is going to be some bit of social distancing in the aircraft. If an aircraft has the capacity of 150 people, they might now be restricted to about 100 or 75. Flying comes with components of cost. Aviation fuel is one of them. Salaries for the pilot and cabin crew are part of it. Services that are paid for to the aviation industry institutions are there.

The costs have to be shared by the passengers and the business owners because nobody runs a business at a loss. Profit is the motivation for going into business. Flying is not a social service”, he declared. Precision measures National Coordinator of the Taskforce, Dr. Sani Aliyu said while it is difficult to lock down some areas without defined boundaries, the PTF would ensure that all other non-pharmaceutical measures are strictly adhered to in the 18 high burden local government areas.

 According to him, only essential movements would be allowed. He said; “On the restriction of movements in specific local governments, we are still working with the state governments because you cannot lock down local governments without working the states. Some of these local governments, by their geographical locations, do not have defined borders.

We will be sending out clarifications as soon as we finish this piece of work. The restriction of movements in these local governments is only one of several interventions that we are putting in, in terms of hotspots. The precision target in these areas includes not only to improve testing but isolation and to make sure that we do a lot of risk communication and public awareness activities.

“So, cessation of movements are only part of it and in some of the local governments, it may not be practicable to do so. We already know some local governments where it will be impossible to enforce this.

“But overall, what we are trying to do is to put out the small fires across the country rather than trying to fight a raging fire across the whole country which will be very difficult and will also be damaging, economically, for us.

“So, for those areas where we have a high burden, where the numbers are increasing rapidly, where we have a high positivity rate, we will be introducing specific precision measures working with the state governments to make sure we get on top of this. This is something that will continue to be reviewed. We expect some local governments to drop after the interventions and some to be added”.

He said state governments were consulted before the decision to lift the ban on interstate movement, adding that no one would be allowed to travel within curfew hours. “We expect people to plan their travels to make sure that wherever you are, certainly the 10 pm to 4 am curfew remains”.

 Although the PTF did not list the local governments, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC had listed 20 local governments as of May 29, tagging them as high burden areas. The local governments were spread across eight states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which include; Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Borno, Edo, Ogun, and FCT.

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Group partner chamber of commerce for increased access to finance

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Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYCC-19) partners Chamber of Commerce for increased access to finance

Group partner chamber of commerce for increased access to finance

The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYCC-19) has partnered the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce to boost access to finance from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 10 million youths in the country.

National Chairman of the youth compact, Malam Gambo Haruna, made the disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the training of 10 million youths, on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the MoU was signed between the Youth Compact and the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce with a view to facilitate access to the CBN Loan Entrepreneurship Training and Certification.

Haruna expressed optimism that the partnership would boost access to finance for over 10 million Nigerian youths to establish functional enterprises and create over 30 million jobs in the next two years.

According to him, a delegation of the Nigerian youth will be meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria within the next seven days, to develop modalities to get the project going.

Haruna explained that the partnership was strategic and timely, considering the urgency for economic recovery created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the proposed partnership would complement efforts of the government to save the economy.

The youth leader expressed hope that the partnership would stimulate MSMEs growth beyond the CÓVID-19 pandemic, create millions of jobs and contribute to non-oil revenue in the country.

Haruna said that over 50 per cent of the 200 million Nigerian population was made up of young people.

According to him, every year, over 1.8 million young people graduate from tertiary institutions.

He, however, said only 30 per cent would find some kind of employment, thereby leaving over 1.2 million graduates without jobs.

“Compound that in a generation and you have over 10 million youth unemployed, which is bigger than the population of Demark and Finland combined.

“ These are people with creative energies and aspirations to impact humanity positively.

“ It is sad, however,  that these aspirations are often cut short due to a myriad of problems from the cradle to adulthood.

“The Nigeria youth unemployment rate is projected to trend around 44 per cent in 2021.

“ The youth situation is worsened by the looming global recession as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 10 million people globally.”

Haruna advised government to put deliberate measures to reverse the ugly trends and cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian youth, whose fate already hangs in the balance.

He said the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) set up by CBN to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 was laudable.

“Feedback from the field, however, shows that a critical mass of youth-led enterprises have not been able to access the facility due to set conditions,” he said.

 

The youth leader advised the government to create a special fund that would serve the needs of her burgeoning youth population.

“These needs are unique in all ramifications. There is no questioning the fact that these intervention measures have to be coordinated and driven by the organised private sector to achieve the desired impact.

“ We are at the threshold of history and the situation beckons on us to act. Surely, posterity will judge the actions we take today to build a more economically viable Nigeria,” he said.(NAN)

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Curbing Covid-19 Spread: California Set to Release 8,000 Prisoners from the State’s Prison

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Gavin Newsom

Curbing Covid-19 Spread: California Set to Release 8,000 Prisoners from the State’s Prison

California announces a plan to release about 8,000 people from the state’s prisons as a way of curbing the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Guardians, California is recording one of the worst increased outbreaks on coronavirus- specifically the northern side of the San Francisco bay.

This has created a “humanitarian crisis” at San Quentin state prison, where almost 1,500 people have tested positive for Covid-19 and seven have died.

In order to curb the historic health screw-up in the state’s prison, California has announced a plan to release up to 8,000 prisoners.

 

According to Abené Clayton, a reporter from Guardian, the Officials on Friday, July 10th announced three separate efforts, approved by the governor, Gavin Newsom, that they say will decrease the prison population by 8,ooo by the end of August.

In her tweet, she wrote;

“Today at noon CDCR announced new efforts that will lead to the release of around 8,000 people by the end of August. @GavinNewsom is expected to make a statement later today.”

“Even though this is the largest round of COVID-induced releases, it won’t be enough to bring the prison population to below 100% capacity, which advocates and public health experts insist is the only way to make enough space for social distancing.”

However, these measures mark the largest release efforts the state administration has taken since Covid-19 began to circulate among prison staff and incarcerated people;

The first initiative expands a previous effort to expedite the release of people with 180 or fewer days left on their sentences to include people serving time for serious felonies.

The second measure is an immediate review of cases of people with less than a year left to serve in eight prisons that have large populations at high risk of developing Covid-19 complications.

The state will also launch a one-time program under which those incarcerated in state prisons, including people serving time for violent felonies, will receive a credit shortening their sentences by three months.

But public health experts have told Abene that these measures will not be enough to allow for the social distancing required to bring the outbreak under control.

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NYCC-19 Partners with TradoMed Pharmaceutical Company to Fight COVID-19

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Tradomed Pharmaceutical Company, reliable partner in fighting COVID-19

The Nigerian Youth Compact on COVID-19 has described Tradomed Pharmaceutical company as a reliable partner in the fight against COVID-19.

Mallam Gambo Haruna, National Chairman of the Compact, made the remark during a courtesy visit to the management of Tradomed Pharmaceutical in Abuja on Wednesday.

Also Read: Domak Shelter Partners with NYCC-19 to Provide Jobs for Nigerian Youths

NYCC-19: ‘Free Internet Business Hub Should be Provided for Young Business Owners’- Dr. Fadila

NYCC-19: Nigerian Youths Air Their Voices on the Effect of COVID-19 (Video)

NYCC-19: ONE STOP YOUTH TALK ON COVID-19

Haruna said, the NYCC-19 was an integrated framework and mechanism for Youth Engagement and Peer Intervention Strategy (PIS), meant to sensitize and mobilize the Nigerian Youth to ensure an enhanced response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

According to him, it is also set up as a realistic and practicable Action Plan to face the emerging Post COVID-19 Economic and Social realities.

He commended the effort of Tradomed company for the humanitarian interventions it is providing for Nigerians across the country, especially during this pandemic period.

“We seek partnership with your company to be able to engage 10 million Nigerian Youths, as it is our ardent belief that the partnership will help in mitigating the spread of the corona virus in Nigeria” he added.

Contributing, Chibuike Echem, Head of States Affairs, NYCC-19, said that, NYCC-19 had structures in the 774 Local Government Areas across the Federation which according to him is a good network for partnership.

Responding, Alhaji Abbah Goji, Vice chairman of Tradomed who received the NYCC-19 Team on behalf of the chairman of the company, Dr. Abbas Waziri applauded the NYCC-19 Team for coming together to form a synergy.

He expressed optimism that such a relationship would enable the parties involved to carry out the robust idea to ensure the realisation of the aims and objectives behind the formation of the Nigerian Youth Compact on Covid-19.

The vice chairman, therefore, advised the leaders of the Compact to expand their vision beyond COVID-19 and focus more on post COVID-19, Goji encouraged them to be patient and united in carrying out their national assignment while assuring them of maximum support and partnership of the company.

One of the high points at the occasion was the donation of a pack of Tradomal Anti-Malaria Tea to the visiting NYCC team, on behalf of the company,

Tradomal Tea is produced by the Tradomed Pharmaceutical Company, a remedy for Malaria, 100 per cent natural and enjoy the certification and approval of NAFDAC.

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