. Gov Tambuwal lauds Buhari on statesmanly call, directive
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, on his statesmanly call and immediate directive to agencies of government to ensure and guarantee free and fair election in Edo state.
Tambuwal, in a statement in Sokoto Today, said that the President deserved commendation for his appeal to all stakeholders, including politicians involved in the election to ensure a violence-free election.
He said, “let me begin by commending the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for his statesmanly call and appeal.
“This, given an immediate directive to agencies of government including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and all other stakeholders involved in the Edo election.
“That to ensure and guarantee free and fair; and, the violence-free election in Edo state; that is very commendable of Mr President.
“On that premise, I, therefore, want to lend my voice to that of Mr President and other well-meaning Nigerians; and members of the international community.
“This is to further appeal and call on the electoral body and the security agencies; and the good people of Edo and all stakeholders involved in this very important election to continue to observe rules and regulations,” he said.
Tambuwal added that Nigerians were closely monitoring the ongoing exercise in Edo State.
“As such, I want to appeal that nobody, individual or agency of government should tamper with the outcome and results of the election being conducted.
“This is very important so that we can have a very convincing outcome that the people of Edo have exercised their franchise without any hindrance and in a very peaceful manner,” Tambuwal added.
2. FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses
The Federal Government Today urged stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with governments at all levels to minimise the incidence of post-harvest losses of farm produce being recorded in the country.
Dr Muazu AbdulKadir, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the call in Ilorin, the Kwara capital when he paid a visit to the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRl), Ilorin.
AbdulKadir, while addressing the management of NSPRl, noted that Nigeria was losing billions of naira annually to post-harvest losses of various farm produce due to lack of well-equipped storage facilities.
“Over sixty per cent of tomatoes, onions, cashew, mangoes, oranges, and watermelon, among others harvested in Nigeria are lost after harvesting.
“The Federal Government is working round the clock to address the problem, to allow the country to maintain food sufficiency.
“I, hereby, call on stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with the government by coming up with modern scientific approaches on curbing post-harvest losses.’’
AbdulKadir praised the foresight of NSPRl in the preservation of farm produce, fabrication of farm implements, storage facilities and ensuring reduction of post-harvest losses of farm produce, as a priority.
He said the Ministry would continue to give necessary assistance within the available resources to NSPRl, to meet its mandate in farm produce storage and other agricultural activities.
The Executive Director of NSPRl, Dr Patricia Pessu, in her remarks, told the permanent secretary of several interventions currently being embarked upon by the institute, aimed at curbing post-harvest losses of farm produce.
Pessu appealed to the Ministry to assist the institute in the realisation of its objective at curbing post-harvest losses, to create employment for the teeming unemployed, and further boost the national economy.
She called on the Federal Government to allow NSPRl to be represented in the intervention committee related to food security.
The NSPRI boss requested that the Ministry give intellectual property rights to agricultural researchers, as a way of encouraging them to do more at ensuring food preservation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the permanent secretary later inspected the laboratories of the institute and its fabricated farm implements with storage faculties.
3. Lagos gives cinemas, gyms go ahead to open
Lagos State government has given the go ahead for cinemas and gyms to reopen as soon as they comply with all necessary safety measures.
However, bars, nite clubs, spars, event centres and such others remain closed until October when the government will make pronouncement concerning their opening.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the green light Today at a press briefing on the 18th update on covid-19 which took place at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos.
The governor said cinemas and gyms are to operate at 33 per cent capacity which is one third of their capacity.
For cinemas and gyms, Sanwo-Olu said: “If they have gotten safety protocol clearance, from tomorrow, Sunday, they can resume.
“Their resumption is only at 33 per cent of their capacity, meaning its only one-third capacity that you have at the various cinemas, you must leave two seats invented,” Sanwo-Olu said, adding it is the agreement with the operators.
Christians have also been given clearance to hold weekly services while Muslims can also commence with their five times prayers, but they must comply with safety protocols.
Sequel to the collapse of Excel College, Ejigbo on Saturday, the said directives have been given to the minute of physical planning and urban development to conduct structural integrity test on all school buildings in the state above three floors from next week.
With the redemption of international flights, the governor said, all incoming passengers must self isolate for seven days after which which they will do the necessary test.
“We are constantly expanding testing capacity to cope with the impending increase in the number of tests, especially following the re-opening of the International Airport.
“Our status as home of the busiest International Airport in Nigeria comes with added responsibilities to ensure that the pandemic situation in Lagos State is not complicated by additional cases of imported infections.
“All incoming travelers to Lagos State must be certified by testing to be COVID-19-free before and after arrival in the State. We encourage outbound travelers to also do a Covid-19 test 72 hours before departure to avoid inconveniences at their respective destinations.
“Following the opening of Nigeria’s International airspace, the Lagos State Government has been working closely with the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Port Health Authority to monitor all flights arriving and departing Lagos State”.
Adding that since the commencement of the flights coming into the country on the 5th of September till date, Lagos has recorded a total of 50 flights – a daily average of 6 flights – carrying a total of almost 8,000 passengers. “Despite this inbound volume of passengers, our positivity rate still remains on the downward trend at under 5%.”
The governor reinterated that only JS3 and SS2 in public schools are to resume on Monday while all classes in private schools can resume though they are advised to adopt the same stagered resumption in public schools. He however said all pre-primary classes are not resuming yet.
“We must not forget that the Coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society. All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders.
As at Friday, the 18th of September 2020, the governor said, Lagos State had conducted close to 100,000 tests; and recorded a total of 18,854 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number,15,598 have recovered in community, 592 are currently active in community, and 207 deaths have sadly occurred.
“It is however interesting to note that we have also recorded a dramatic decline in the number of Covid-19 related deaths at our facilities.”
Sanwo-Olu advised citizens not to let down their guide against the pandemic, urging them to act responsibly by maintaining the required levels of hygiene.
“The Lagos State Government, like the Federal Government, is committed to continuing the maintenance of a fine balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods. We will continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activity must never be taken as an excuse to let down our guard against the pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu said.
4. LASG seeks quality healthcare service for increased patients’ patronage
The Lagos State Health Service Commission Today charged healthcare providers to uplift medical practices for increased patients’ patronage across all public health facilities in the state.
Dr Benjamin Eniayewun, Permanent Secretary of the Commission, gave this charge as he led a nine-man delegate on an assessment tour of public health facilities in line the Hospitals’ Transformation Support Initiative.
Eniayewun said the initiative was proffered by health providers as an aid to qualitative delivery that was measurable with international best medical practices.
“The healthcare business is growing exponentially in a more competitive sphere.
“With the advent of the Lagos State Health Scheme and decline in out-of-pocket payments, it has become more necessary to strategically manage stakeholders’ needs being highlighted by various hospitals towards qualitative development.
“These highlighted developmental plans are identified by the various hospitals under a targeted time span with a view for optimal patients’ satisfaction,” he said.
He said that under Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu ‘s THEMES Agenda, the Commission had identified various yardsticks for excellent health service at all windows of public health using the Transformation Support Initiative.
THEMES is the acronym for the six strategic development agenda of Gov. Sanwo-Olu namely: Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education, and Technology.
Eniayewun admonished the medical directors of the state health facilities on astute entrepreneurial skills at ensuring service-driven improvement and Internal Generated Revenue of value on added services being rendered to patients.
The permanent secretary said:” There should be a paradigm shift on maximising potentials that are sometimes hyped by the terrain which your hospital is being situated.
“Being a chief executive officer requires foresight and innovation for qualitative service delivery with a view for patients’ satisfaction using the available infrastructure, which basically induces future patronage or not.
“Invariably, it implies you need to add value for services rendered to patients to make them want to patronise your facility as the best choice they are making, certainly, not because they do not have a choice.
“This will indicate impactful delivery, if well adopted,” the permanent secretary said.
At the Ifako-Ijaye General Hospital, he applauded the initiative adopted for patients ‘ privacy at the Physiotherapy Department, while enjoining the management to improve the aesthetic view of the hospital.
Also, Eniayewun commended the obvious medical improvement for the qualitative standard exhibited at the Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre, Ojota, towards optimal patients satisfaction.
The nine-man delegation included: Dr Olumuyiwa Otepola, a former Medical Director of Ketu-Ejirin Hospital; Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr Kajopelaiye Olarenwaju; Director, Nursing Services, Mrs Laide Animashaun; and Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Segun Onakoya.
Other delegates are Deputy Director, Medical Services, Dr Shola Pitan; Head, Public Affairs Unit, Mrs Abimbola Salehu – Badejo; Mr Emiabata Lawal of the Finance and Accounts Directorate; and Mr Sadiq Ismaila of the Human Resources Directorate.
5. El-Rufai to participate in Kaduna Marathon competition
Governor Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufa’i of Kaduna state has said that he had already registered to participate in the forthcoming Kaduna International Marathon and would not do more than 5km.
He spoke in Kaduna Today, saying
the maiden Kaduna International Marathon 2020 scheduled for November 21, 2020 is expected to gulp N300 million with 10 elite athletes expected from across the world..
According to him, the 21km half marathon race, with the theme: Let’s Run Together’, was aimed at talent hunting, engaging the youth and attracting investment opportunities to the state.
He said, there would be prize money ranging from $10,000 for the winner to $1,000 for the 10th position in the male and female elite category and N3 million for the first placed Nigerian male and female ranging to N250,000 for the 10th placed runner in that category.
“The inaugural edition of Kaduna International Marathon race will take place on Saturday 24 November, 2020 as half marathon. Kaduna Runs is designed as an annual sporting event of economic benefit to all. We hope it would help Kaduna state as an investment hub and spotting talent.
“Kaduna Runs is fully funded by sponsors and participants who registered to run. Kaduna runs is designed as a family and all inclusive affairs, it is 13 miles so it is less strenuous than full marathon. Registered runners can drop off at any point, as participants can run 5km, 10km. I have already registered and I would not do more than 5km.
“We intend to raise the prize money and in 2021, we intent to put a line budget and double the prize money. It would be sustained until 2023 when we would leave office. Sports is a source of health and livelihood, a way of getting youths engaged and a business that can export footballers, athletes, basketballers. We want to revive Kaduna clay court tennis tournament, make Kaduna annual governors tournament to be an international golf event.”
Chairman of the organising committee, Mr Jimi Lawal said though there are lots of costs to cover, “we have few companies committed to be title sponsor, platinum, gold, silver and bronze sponsors. We are looking at between N250 and N300 million as cost of the Kaduna Marathon race. We are sure of attracting enough sponsors to cover the costs. If we can attract the sponsors, it shows that the competition is sustainable.”
The Consultant to the Kaduna Marathon race, Mr Bukola Olopade said Kaduna state used to be known as provider of sports talents but now “Kaduna state has grown from provider of sports talents to providing the infrastructure to develop the talents. We want to bring everybody together to participate the young, the old, the villagers, the city people, especially the women”.
The Kaduna state Commissioner for Sports Development, Prof. Kabiru Mato said Kaduna International Marathon is part of the foundation to bringing the state back to its past glory as provider of sporting talents.
“Kaduna shall revert back to its old former self of sports production and reproduction. No city has produced more national team stars. In the next few years, we would lay solid foundation to make Kaduna greater in sports which is the rationale behind the Kaduna Marathon race,” he said.