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Football viewing centres open, resist FG directive

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Football viewing centres resist FG directive

Football viewing centres open, resist FG directive

In resistance to the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which placed a ban on viewing centres operation in the country, Football viewing centres hosted customers during Wednesday’s English Premier League game.

The EPL, which has a large following in Nigeria, returned to action on Wednesday after it was suspended on March 13 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s return came as a respite to hitherto aggrieved fans, most of who belonged to the lower class and patronise viewing centres for European football.

Some owners of viewing centres in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti states, who spoke to our correspondent last week, expressed delight at the return of the EPL.

They also revealed their plans to maintain social distancing among viewers during live games.

But a statement by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, warning against the re-opening of football viewing centres, dashed the hopes of the operators who have been counting their losses since the global ban on sporting activities.

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“We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place,” Mustapha stated at the PTF’s press briefing on Monday.

“The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guidelines should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.”

But checks by our correspondent showed that several viewing centres opened on Wednesday, with fans trooping in to watch the EPL matches involving Aston Villa versus Sheffield United and Manchester City versus Arsenal.

Several of the centres monitored by source showed that the fans didn’t wear facemasks and failed to observe social distancing. Also, there were no sanitary facilities on ground for usage.

Adeola Ajide, who watched both games at a viewing centre on Ebiere Street, Isolo, Lagos, said, “The viewing centre at my end is open, though no soap and water to wash hands but all I can see here is social distancing and the use of facemasks.

“The population isn’t as much as we used to have it before the lockdown. I guess the rain is another factor too.”

“Social distancing didn’t work here; I can tell you, I’m the only one wearing a mask in a hall containing 23 people. There’s also no social distancing and the operator of the outlet didn’t provide water, soap or sanitisers for the customers,” John Olakunle, who watched one of Wednesday’s EPL games at a viewing centre on Funsho George Street in Puposhola area of Abule Egba, Lagos, said.

In Makurdi, the Benue State capital, our correspondent learnt several viewing centres were open for business on Wednesday.

A fan, Friday Tersoo, who watched the City versus Arsenal game at a viewing centre on Bida Street, Wadata, Makurdi, said, “The hall is overfilled with fans, who were eager to watch a high-profile match live for the first time in three months. The operator said only three people should sit on each bench, but nobody obeyed him because of the large crowd. Only few people wore facemasks. Everyone is just happy that football is back.”

A viewing centre operator in Akure, Ondo State, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, admitted he showed the game.

“Fans still came out to watch, so I didn’t have a choice but to show both games,” he said.

However, checks by The PUNCH showed that some of the operators complied with the FG’s directive.

In Benin City, the Edo State capital, all the centres monitored by our correspondent were closed, but fans trooped into hotels, to watch the opening games of the EPL.

A football fan in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, Edache Abutu, told our correspondent he watched the game from home after the viewing centres in his area refused to open for business.

“No viewing centre is showing around here, they are very strict with the directive not to open,” he told The PUNCH.

Our correspondent also gathered that in areas where viewing centres failed to open, fans trooped to bars to watch the games.

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COVID-19

NCDC – 626 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed In Nigeria

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NCDC New Cases of Coronavirus

NCDC – 626 New Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed In Nigeria

Nigeria on Thursday, July 2, recorded 626 new cases of Coronavirus as confirmed in a tweet shared by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 

 

A breakdown of the new cases across different states in the country is as follows; Lagos-193, FCT-85, Oyo-41, Edo-38, Kwara-34, Abia-31, Ogun-29, Ondo-28, Rivers-26, Osun-21, Akwa Ibom-18, Delta-18, Enugu-15, Kaduna-13, Plateau-11, Borno-8, Bauchi-7, Adamawa-5, Gombe-4, Sokoto-1.

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As at July 2, there are 27,110 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country. 10,801 patients have been discharged and 616 deaths has been recorded.

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193 Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19 In Kano State

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Kano State Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19

193 Almajiria Test Positive For COVID-19 In Kano State

A total of 193 Almajiris in Kano State have so far tested positive to COVID 19, according to the Kano state government.

Speaking at the COVID-19 press briefing held, Thursday, July 2, Kano State Commissioner of Education, Sanusi Mohammed Kiru disclosed that a total of 1860 persons were quarantined in three locations in the state, out of which 193 of them tested positive.

 

Sanusi who is also the head of the state government’s committee on the rehabilitation of almajiris, explained that 86 of them tested positive at Gabasawa Quarantine camp, 68 tested positive in Karaye while 38 tested positive in Kiru.

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He expressed happiness at the initiative to isolate the almajiris in the state, adding that state efforts at tackling the dreaded disease would have been worse off if they were allowed to continue to spread the disease in these communities.

 

He recalled that so far the state has repatriated a total of 1183 Almajirs to the rest of the states in the region such as Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi, Kebbi, and Zamfara States in line with the decision of the Northern Governors forum to end street begging in the region.

 

He further disclosed that the state government had established three almajiri boarding schools for the immediate admission of the Almajiris of Kano State orIgin, saying that these schools are located in Bunkure, Bagwai and Madobi Local Government Areas.

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President Buhari Suspends NSITF Boss, Others

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NSITF Boss Buhari

President Buhari Suspends NSITF Boss, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate and indefinite suspension from Office of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr Adebayo Somefun.

Sen Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, in a statement by Charles Akpan of the Press and Public Relations in the ministry, named other officers suspended to include Jasper Ikedi-Azuatalam, Executive Director (ED), Finance and Investment, and Mrs Olukemi Nelson, ED, Operations.

Also suspended are Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman, ED, Administration, Mr Olusegun Olumide-Bashorun, General Manager, Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance, and Mr Lawan Tahir, General Manager, Finance.

Others asked to go are Mr Chris Esedebe, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Mr Olodotun Adegbite, Deputy General Manager, Investment and Treasury Management, and Mr Emmanuel Enyinnaya-Sike, Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts.

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The statement also named Mrs Olutoyin Arokoyo, Deputy General Manager/Acting Head, Legal, Ms. Dorathy Zajeme-Tukura, Deputy General Manager, Administration, and Mrs Victoria Ayantuga, Assistant General Manager, Internal Audit.

The minister said that their suspension from office arose from the “preliminarily established prima facie infractions on the extant Financial Regulations and Procurement Act, and other acts of gross misconduct”.

“During the period of their suspension, the officers will face a Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel that had been set up to look into the financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF from 2016 to date.

“The gross misconduct has invariably put the contributions of stakeholders in a perilous state. The affected officers have also been directed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments,” the statement said.

It quoted Ngige as specifically directing that Dr Kelly Nwagha, General Manager. Health, Safety and Environment Department, to assume the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, being the most senior General Manager in the organisation.

It said that officers assuming the new positions would take charge from Monday, July 6, 2020, until further notice.

Ngige charged the Chairman of the Board, Mr Austin Enajemo Isire, to ensure that the investigative panel commenced work as soon as possible.

He also charged him to ensure that the Board facilitated the smooth running of the Fund by creating the enabling environment and all the necessary staff adjustments and movements, in order to guarantee that services by staff to the contributors were not affected.

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#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

http://news.ncbn.ng/2020/06/04/coronavirus-and-the-adversity-of-the-asymptomatic-bala-ibrahim/

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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