Nigeria has now confirmed more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Since February 27 when the first case of the virus was confirmed in Nigeria, the country has witnessed a steady rise in infections despite efforts to curtail its spread.
Late on Sunday, the NCDC confirmed an additional 555 cases and two deaths, lifting total infections in the country to 40,532 and fatalities to 858 from Friday’s figures of 39,977 and 856, respectively.
Data from the centre shows that Lagos had 156, followed by Kano, Ogun, and Plateau with 65, 57, and 54 cases.
Others are Oyo – 53, Benue – 43, FCT – 30, Ondo – 18, Kaduna – 16, Akwa Ibom – 13, Gombe – 13, Rivers – 12, Ekiti – nine, Osun – eight, Cross River – three, Borno – two, Edo – two, and Bayelsa – one.
With daily infections in the country now averaging more than 500 cases added to repeated complaints about people across states failing to comply with protocols, there have been concerns about the effectiveness of current measures to tackle the pandemic and speculations that the Federal Government may have to impose tougher measures, including re-imposing lockdowns.
The government has, however, not indicated any plan of re-imposing a lockdown although officials have warned Nigerians about the dangers of violating safety protocols and urged citizens to take individual responsibility seriously.
Nigeria had reacted to the pandemic by restricting large gatherings, shutting down schools, religious gatherings and flight operations, and imposing a lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, among other things.
A lockdown was later imposed in Kano State with state governors taking (complementary) measures of their own.
In May, after some five weeks of the lockdown, the Federal Government modified its strategy in what it said was the second phase of response.
This saw the lockdown lifted and night curfew imposed, allowing businesses and government offices to commence operations.
Schools have remained closed with talks about a resumption date sparking debate and controversy, but domestic flights have resumed.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said last week that international flights may resume before October and on Saturday, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said train services will resume on the Abuja-Kaduna railway line on July 29.
Some eight months after the COVID-19 outbreak started, disrupting life, the global economy remains on the ropes with world leaders scrambling to find solutions.
The Nigerian economy is not left out.
As part of the government’s push for a concerted response, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to support the country’s economic recovery efforts.
Commending Nigerians in the Diaspora for their economic and social contributions on World Diaspora Day, he said, “Nigerians in Diaspora are also known to be engaged in skills transfer in ICT and industry. They are also active in our universities as lecturers and in carrying out medical missions.”
The President added, “It is, therefore, my sincere hope that even with the depressed economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians in the Diaspora will rise to the occasion of not abandoning their country of origin, Nigeria, but be active in our post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.”
Nigeria Immigration Service Places Embargo on Capturing, Issuance of Passports
The Nigeria Immigration Service has placed an embargo on capturing and issuance of passports to applicants from today May 18th till the end of May 2021.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing in Abuja.
He said the decision is to enable the service to clear its backlog, noting that it will no longer collect fresh applications until the backlogs are cleared.
This means that all passports in control offices are closed for applicants from today till May 31st and payments for passports will be online when the portal is opened which will be June.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola had earlier given a six weeks timeline for passport collection.
He said this will be six weeks which is meant to allow for enough time to investigate, verify and validate personal information supplied by the applicants.
“What we are driving at is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty. If there are circumstances that will make the date to change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection date”.
He noted that applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them.
“The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.
“We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.
“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing”, the minister added.
Below is the breakdown of the current backlog
Local: 71, 644
Foreign : 17,906
NLC President Dares El-Rufai, Leads Protesters to Kaduna Govt House
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, is currently leading union members to the Kaduna State Government House.
This is after Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared the labour leader and others wanted for “economic sabotage” and attack on public infrastructure.
Large crowd, led by Wabba, is marching through Waff road in Kaduna and heading towards the government house.
Gov Obiano Imposes Curfew on 2 Warring Anambra Communities
Gov. Willie Obiano has imposed a 7am to 6am curfew on Omor and Anaku communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state.
This is contained in a statement issued by Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government.
The state government said the curfew is untill further notice.
”The curfew begins on Monday. Residents of the two communities should obey the order as security personnel are on strict orders to enforce the curfew directives.
”The government has lifted the curfew imposed on Igbariam, Aguleri, Umueri, Nteje, Awkuzu and Umunya communities on April 26, following the return of normalcy in the areas,” the government said.
It was reported that on Sunday, a violent clash broke out between residents of Anaku and Omor Communities.
The police says three persons have been confirmed dead in a clash between Omor and Anaku communities in Anyamelum Local Government Area of the state.
DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra, told NAN in Awka on Sunday that normalcy has since been restored in the area.
Ikenga said that Mr Chris Owolabi, Commissioner of Police in the state, personally led a team of operatives to quell the crisis between the neighbouring communities.He said that the command is still gathering information on the extent of damage while assuring that efforts were on to avoid deterioration of the situation and ensure lasting peace.
“Normalcy has been restored in the area and our men are still on ground to ensure safety of life and property. So far, we have recovered three bodies which have been deposited at the morgue.
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