​COVID-19: Schools resume Jan 18 until further directive –PTF

The Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 , on Tuesday , said schools in the country will resume on January 18 until the Ministry of Education announces further directive .

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu , stated this while featuring on a television programme.

The Minister of Education , Adamu Adamu , had on Monday , said the Federal Government would review the January 18 earlier date fixed for resumption of schools across Nigeria.

The minister , who spoke at a PTF briefing in Abuja , attributed the decision to the second wave of COVID – 19 currently ravaging the country .

Speaking further on the issue on Tuesday , the PTF coordinator said the minister did not say the date has been changed .

Aliyu said , “As regards schools , I just want to make a clarification, what the minister said yesterday was that they were going to review, he didn ’t say that they were going to change the date . He said they will review the situation and let the nation know .

“So , for the moment , it is still 18 th January until the ministry of education comes back either with an alternative date or reconfirm that .”

NewsWeb Express had earlier reported that PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation , Boss Mustapha , on Monday , said travels , reopening of schools , businesses and religious centres contributed to the rise in coronavirus cases in Nigeria .

“It is however very instructive to stress that factors that have contributed to rise in numbers from late November 2020 included increased local and international travels , business and religious activities , reopening of schools without strict compliance with COVID – 19 safety measures.

“ The full import of the fore – going is to press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non -pharmaceutical interventions, ” he had said .

​FG’ll stop train services if… — Amaechi

The Federal Government says it will shut down the Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja-Kaduna train services should there be any case of COVID-19 among passengers.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated this yesterday while featuring on NTA Good Morning Nigeria programme.

He said train users must comply with all COVID-19 protocols from the beginning of every trip to the end.

The minister said: “If we see that we are conveying passengers who have Covid-19 from Lagos to Ibadan and Ibadan to Lagos, we will stop it just like we threatened to stop the one from Kaduna to Abuja if people don’t comply with COVID -19 protocols.

“Don’t forget that on Kaduna-Abuja, we convey 4,000 passengers in a day. Imagine that about 20 per cent have Covid-19, they can transmit COVID-19 to the entire passengers.

‘’The rate of transmission will be high. The same is applicable to Lagos. Everybody must comply with the COVID-19 protocols, wear your masks till the end of the journey.”

The minister also added that the $1.6 billion Lagos-Ibadan railway project, which would be completed this month would be inaugurated virtually by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation had in December 2020 commenced operations for the Lagos-Ibadan railway, a standard gauge rail covering a distance of 156km.

​Oyetola inaugurates FG’s 774,000 special public works in Osun

Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Monday, inaugurated 774,000 Federal Government Extended Special Public Works Programme in Osogbo.

Oyetola said that the initiative of the public work was in line with Osun’s Development Agenda, aimed at guaranteeing and securing a better future for the teeming youths in the state.

“This programme, through a short-term response to the rising spate of unemployment in our country, deserves to be commended for its ambitious coverage and transparent recruitment process.

“With 1,000 beneficiaries drawn from each of the 774 local governments in the country, this programme further mobilises our young people to contribute to societal development.

“This will earn a modest income within the space of three months, in the first instance.

“Again, this programme communicates the readiness of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the urgent need to provide economic empowerment for our teeming youth population”.

Represented by his deputy, Benedict Alabi, Oyetola said that the administration was resolute in its efforts to equip young people to be competent contributors to the growth and development of the state.

The governor said the administration would not relent in its efforts to continue to seek creative ways of providing employment for the people, particularly the unemployed youths.

“In many ways, this programme aligns with our administration’s agenda of equipping our young people to be competent contributors to the growth and development of our state.

“All our existing programmes, including the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), Post-COVID 19 Recovery Plan, are already being recalibrated for employment generation and better service delivery.

“We shall not relent in our efforts to continue to seek creative ways of providing employment for our youths and our people”, Oyetola added.

In his remarks, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for being committed to the welfare and well-being of the citizens.

Aregbesola was represented by Adekunle Ige, a former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state.

He described the Federal Government’s initiative as one that would fast track the quest to ensure quick recovery of the nation’s economy, which was hitherto lost to the adverse socio-economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Also, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, the Acting Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative.

He said that the President’s noble intent gave birth to the national employment scheme to minimise the scourge of poverty and unemployment among the citizenry.

Fikpo, who was represented by his Deputy, Malam Ismail Yekini, reassured the capacity of the NDE to successfully execute the programme.

“This is a significant scheme designed to combat mass unemployment rate and alleviate poverty in our dear country. “With this programme, the scourge of poverty and joblessness will be drastically reduced.

“We commend President Buhari for the confidence he has in NDE to implement the programme.

“We assure him of our capacity to deliver as we are conscious of Mr President’s commitment to using the scheme to mitigate the adverse effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic”, he added.