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Low COVID-19 Cases Shouldn’t Be Misinterpreted For Victory, FG Warns Nigerians

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The Federal Government has warned Nigerians to remain vigilant as the nation intensifies the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, warned that the country has yet to win the war against COVID-19.

According to him, it is important that the daily low test and case confirmation numbers should not be misinterpreted to mean that Nigeria has overcome.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the government has over time ramped up testing but there was more to be done to raise the quantum of test per million.

He said an analysis showed that five states still account for 60 per cent of cumulative cases and 689 out of the 774 local government areas (LGAs) have reported at least one case.

The PTF chairman decried that 85 LGAs in 20 states remain with no testing done and no case reported while 50 per cent of all the cases were in 20 per cent of the nation’s LGAs.

He insisted that Nigeria has yet to reach the peak of the pandemic but noted that the PTF was happy that many survivors were telling their stories and sharing them on social media.

Mustapha believes the stories of those who he said doubted the existence of the virus and became infected and are now expressing appreciation for the timely intervention of the case management team, have provided compelling proof that the virus is real.

He, therefore, called on the people to continue to observe all existing measures towards curbing the further spread of the disease in the country.

Read the full remarks by the PTF chairman at the briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF MONDAY, 10th AUGUST, 2020

​I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Monday, 10th August 2020.

On Thursday 6th August 2020, the PTF intimated Nigerians with the new direction of further easing the lockdown in our National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we progress in this new phase of the eased lockdown, continual monitoring of global and national science and data remains the basis for strengthening our efforts to contain the virus.

​Key sectors that the PTF will be watching in addition to the general level of compliance are the education and transportation sectors.

Schools are gradually reopening with the commencement of preparations for critical examinations. Guidelines have already been issued by the Federal Ministry of Education to all stakeholders.

For the transportation sector, the PTF continues to follow the developments in railway and air transportation respectively.

Nigerians and sector stakeholders are admonished to ensure compliance with the various non-pharmaceutical measures already in place.  The PTF and the Federal Ministry of Aviation are working rapidly towards reopening of the international flights.

​The PTF will also be looking closely at the issue of Risk Communication and Community Engagement.

Messaging and consultations shall be intensified to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using mediums and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.

Today, the global numbers of confirmed cases surpassed 20 million and 750,000 deaths. These statistics remain serious warning signals accompanied by pains and anguish to families and friends that have lost loved ones.

Africa’s confirmed cases have surpassed one million mark which is a landmark. The challenge however is that the true numbers could be higher because we suspect strongly that for every reported case, up to seven might have been missed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the numbers are surging, community spread has taken root and expanded beyond the urban areas. The watchword is vigilance and taking extra care.

​Nigeria, with 46,577 confirmed cases and 945 cumulative deaths, remains respectively the third and fourth highest in these parameters. As we emphasized at the last briefing, Nigeria is yet to reach the peak of the pandemic.

Therefore, the low test/ case confirmation numbers coming out daily should not be misinterpreted to mean that we have overcome. We have over time ramped up testing but more needs to be done to raise the quantum of test per million. Our analysis has however shown that:

(i)  five (5) States still account for 60% of cumulative cases;

(ii) 689 out of 774 LGAs have reported a case;

(iii) 85 LGAs in 20 States still remain with no testing done and no case

Reported; and

(iv)  50% of all cases are in 20% LGAs

The PTF is happy to note that many survivors are telling their stories and sharing them in the social media.

The stories of those who doubted the existence of the virus and became unfortunately infected and are now expressing appreciation for timely intervention of the case management team provide compelling proof that the virus is real.

I am also happy to note that the electronic media has taken up our challenge of joining the risk communication as depicted over the weekend with the face to face interview conducted by the Arise News team.

​It is also important I inform you that Nigeria continues to play its role in supporting the fight against COVID-19 on the West Africa Sub-Region.

Last week, men and women of the Nigerian Airforce distributed PPEs and medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organisation and other partners to our neighbors.

However, to show true leadership against the pandemic, we, as a people and country need to contain the virus by doing all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the country at large.

I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG, NCDC and the National Coordinator to provide us with their briefs.

​I thank you so much for your attention and have a good evening.

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CGI Babandede Bows Out With Glorious Light, Global Acclaim

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The 11th Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, MFR, was pulled out from Service Monday in grand style, razzmatazz and pageantry, after a transparent and diligent service to his country – Nigeria.

The occasion took place at the NIS Parade Ground, Sauka, Abuja, and was graced by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was Special Guest of Honour; Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, MON, mni; Service Chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Usman Baba and other heads of sister security agencies. Also at the occasion were top traditional rulers, Captains of industry, community leaders, youth groups, women groups and members of the diplomatic corps.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Minister of Interior, Aregbesola, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, paid glowing tributes to CGI Babandede for rebranding and repositioning the Nigeria Immigration Service as a top class migration management agency globally.

Continuing, Ogbeni Aregbesola, enjoined Babandede’s successor and NIS management to effectively harness and utilize the ultra-modern technological infrastructure established by Babandede for continued policing and surveillance of Nigeria’s borders, adding that the innovation is world-class and must be properly maintained at all times.

The Minister of Interior poured encomiums on the out-going CGI, applauded the gigantic transformational milestones and legacies left behind by the outgoing CGI

In the same vein, the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Badaru lauded the sterling leadership qualities of CGI Babandede, patriotism and monumental achievements of the outgoing CGI, noting that he is a shining ambassador of Jigawa State, whose footprints are written on the sands of time in building a harmonious relationship with sister agencies; was unparalleled and must be exploited to the fullest for enhanced productivity and service delivery.
He enjoined other chief executive officers to borrow a leaf from the mercurial service record of CGI Babandede who has made Jigawa State proud.

Meanwhile, other stakeholders are also unanimous that CGI Babandede will continue to be a reference point, in the annals of efficient service delivery, transparency and patriotism in Nigeria, alluding that he has changed the narrative and paradigm shift of the NIS in compliance with best international practices.

Also, a prominent civil society group, Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity, Justice & Transparency (GOCMEJ), was full of praises for CGI Babandede for redefining service delivery, accountability, transparency and patriotism in Nigeria’s public service. The organization, which is an amalgamation of over 350 CSOs, NGOs and media executives, recommended the outgoing CGI for higher national office, stating that his invaluable service record must not be sacrificed on the altar of officialdom. Emphasizing that CGI Babandede is brimming with resourcefulness, youthful energy and zeal for service to humanity and his fatherland.

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NDDC: GPMI Hails Sen. Akpabio , Says Detractors Should Leave Him Alone

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The Global Peace Movement International UK has described the Niger Delta Minister, Sen. Godswill Akpabio as a man who claimed fifteen story building without a steer case.

The group also said Senator Godswill Akpabio is a proven performer. Since he became the Minister of Niger Delta, he has been working diligently to develop the region. It is on record that massive work is going on in the region in different sectors.

In a press statement signed by the media officer, Augustine Aminu (KSM) on behalf the President General of Global Peace Movement International UK, Dr. Mike Uyi who currently lost his sister, Pastor Rose Uyi.

He said, prior to the minister’s assumption of office at the Niger Delta Affairs ministry, activities at the ministry were in dire need for reformation. Therefore, it took the frugality in his resource management and political determination to turn around the entire gamut of the Niger Delta community for the better within his short stay in office.

According to Uyi, the mandate of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is to formulate and execute plans, programmes, and other initiatives as well as coordinate the intervention activities of agencies, communities, donors, and other relevant stakeholders involved in the development of the region. Akpabio has promised never to deviate from the mandate.

“NDDC was meant to address the development challenges in the Niger Delta region but the commission has only enriched a few people in the past leaving the mission and vision not actualized. Faceless contractors have pocketed funds for projects and were never executed”.

“Akpabio is tested and trusted. As commissioner, senator and governor, he performed excellently. Unarguably, Akpabio is among the ministers that would perform very well in this administration and should be allowed to concentrate on transforming NDDC. GPMI believes that he will do greater things if given a higher national assignments”.

Under the supervision of Senator Akpabio, a forensic audit was carried out to unravel corruption and bad corporate governance in the commission.

“The Minister as we know him has been a detribalised and generous individual. His personal aides and workers hail from different states in the Niger Delta region and the country. Besides, the minister is known for presenting opportunities to people based only on their competencies”.

“He has carried all stakeholders in the Niger Delta along and that is why the region has remained peaceful since his emergence as a minister”.

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Less Than 3 Percent Of Kaduna Residents Have Health Insurance – KADCHMA

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Less than 3 percent of people out of about 9 million are covered by medical insurance under the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Agency (KADCHMA) it has been revealed.

The revelation was made during a stakeholders meeting organized by the Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM) with Partnership to Engage and Learn (PERL-EC) and Lafiya Programme.

Speaking on the matter, the representative of KADCHMA and Director of Operations, Dr Juliana Bungon said that apart from the state government employees only about 2000 individuals from the informal sector are registered with the scheme.

She added that  getting the informal sector to participate in the scheme had been difficult because they are not organized as the organized informal sector who are part and parcel of the trade unions.

She however added that the state government is making arrangement with farmers in the rural area to batter harvested food items with relevant agency so that they can be captured in the scheme.

” we are also going to vigorously involve cooperatives, desk officers in local governments as well as embark on massive sensitization with media to drive home the matter, ” she said.

Speaking earlier,  Mal Mustapha Juma’are  said that people must be part and parcel of the scheme so that the issue of out of pocket expenditure which hitherto had been a stumbling block to Nigerians resident in Kaduna state can be minimized.

Mal Juma’are who frowned at the paltry percentage of residents who have embraced the scheme called on participants to help in galvanizing the populace so that they can embrace it and make it their own.

Also speaking, the Co-Chair of Open Government Partnership (OGP) Hadiza Umar said that action in the area of sensitizing and enrolling the people of Kaduna state is necessary in order to curb or reduce the number of people dying daily from treatable diseases.

She said that Kaduna State will remain open in all its activities as she urged participants and stakeholders to share the information especially in the informal sector.

Mr Abel Adejor, on behalf of PERL-EC and Lafiya programme said that the aim of the meeting is for associations and organizations that are in the informal sector to be properly mobilized with adequate information for them to key into the scheme.

He further said that the civil societies and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) will continue to give support to program for it to succeed in the state.

The meeting was made possible by the KADMAM in collaboration with KADCHMA and support from PERL-EC and Lafiya programme in partnership with UKAID.

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