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COVID-19: ‘We will continue to support health workers’ – Makinde

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Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, commissioned the upgraded Agbami Isolation Centre, Jericho, Ibadan, declaring that health workers will continue to receive strong support in the fight against coronavirus in the state.

The governor, who was accompanied on the trip to Agbami by his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, and other top government functionaries, stated that the welfare of frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19 will remain top on his administration’s agenda.

He said: “I want to also thank health workers, because you are the frontline in this battle, and you have had to work with facilities that are not up to standard but we have been partners in progress as far as lifting our health care delivery system in the state. Please, do not relent. Let us keep doing this together to defeat COVID-19.”

The governor’s !media aide,  Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde  as saying that though the Agbami facility was commissioned at the twilight of the last administration in the state, it  wasn’t equipped for proper use as an Isolation Centre.

According to him, the said facility was  commissioned as a Tuberculosis Centre by the immediate past administration but his government has upgraded it as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.

He stated that the building would serve the high-end members of the society who test positive to the virus and are in need of privacy.

According to him,”there is nothing really much to say today apart from the fact that this facility was commissioned at the twilight of the last administration. Before we came in, it was a TB centre at that time. We didn’t know there would be COVID-19 pandemic but here we are dealing with the virus.

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“We give the past administration the credit for putting this together, even though it was commissioned when it was not ready. I came here, went inside and there was absolutely nothing inside. Now that we have the pandemic on our hands, it will serve high-end individuals in Oyo State who are not comfortable going to Olodo because they want privacy and comfortability.

“We know some of you have aged parents at home and because we have to give concession for such individuals to self-isolate at home and we monitor them, now we don’t have to do much of that anymore because with the facility here, you can self-isolate.

“You will go inside and we give you the treatment. We will ensure that you don’t infect others and once you have been properly managed, you go back to your various homes.

“I battled COVID-19. It is not a death sentence and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The virus is here with us and will be here for some time to come. It will not disappear two or three weeks from now. So, we have to learn how to live with it. If anyone is feeling sick, there are facilities. We have taken the opportunity of the pandemic to strengthen our health care facilities. When it is no longer here, our facilities will remain and we will maintain them.

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“So, it is not a big deal that anyone tests positive to COVID-19 and I am not ashamed of it. I fought the virus and I am up and about now. I pray that as many of us that will fight the virus will come out of it doing very well. Don’t self-isolate at home now. If you are a high-end individual, you can come here. You don’t also need to go and hide at private hospitals where they don’t have the facility, personnel and resources to ensure you have adequate care.”

The governor also stated that the rooms  at the Agbami isolation centre have been well-equipped and fixed with oxygen concentrators.

“This facility has been upgraded now and it is now an isolation centre. We have an oxygen concentrator there and you will get the type of care you deserve,” he said.

The governor also appreciated a member of the state’s COVID-19 Task Force and former Chief Medical Director of the UCH, Professor Temitope ALonge and his team for the good job they have done and are still doing in putting up isolation centres.

He said: “I want to thank Professor Temitope Alonge for this work that you and the team have been doing and are still doing. We are quite blessed in Oyo State because we have the resources and people who can hold their own if you take them anywhere around the globe.

“I also thank the people of Oyo State for their support for this administration. If we look at where we are coming from, it has been a challenging environment. When we started the year, we had high hopes. But now, we have to shave off almost 35 per cent of our budget for the year simply because we are faced with a pandemic and economic meltdown. In spite of all of that, with the support of the good people of the state, we have been able to keep moving on.

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“We do not take the support for granted. Keep criticising us constructively on what we are doing. Anything we are doing, which you think we can do better, bring it up to us and we will make the necessary adjustments.”

Other officials in attendance at the event include the Head of Service, Mrs. Amidst Ololade Agboola; Professor Alonge and the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, among others.

 

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Imo tops, as Nigeria’s unemployment rate hits 27.1% in Q2 2020

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate has increased to 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, a move from 23.1 per cent reported in Q3 2018 according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

The NBC in its ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’ released on Friday also disclosed that the number of persons in the economically active age (15 – 64 years), jumped from 115,492,969 in Q3 2018 to 116,871,186 in Q2 2020.

“For the period under review, Q2 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3 2018,” the NBS report said. “These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.

“The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894″.

This was 11.3 per cent less than the number of persons in Q3 2018.

“Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1 per cent of the labour force,” it added.

The report further revealed that the number of employed people in Q2 2020 slumped by 15.8 per cent to 58,527,276 when placed side by side with that of Q3 2018.

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“Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were underemployed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week)”.

At 48.7 per cent, Imo State has the highest unemployment rate in the country and is trailed by Akwa-Ibom State (45.2 per cent) and Rivers State (43.7 per cent).

Anambra State, however, has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation – 17 per cent.

“For underemployment, the state which recorded the highest rate was Zamfara with 43.7 per cent, while Anambra State recorded the lowest underemployment rate, with 17 per cent in Q2 2020,” the agency said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBS said: “2,736,076 did not do any work in the last seven days preceding the survey due to the lockdown but had secure jobs to return to after the lockdown.”

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Ex-Vice President, Atiku Condemns NBC N5m Fine

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Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Thursday condemned the fined of N5 million imposed on a Lagos-based radio state – 99.3 FM Nigeria Info by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Atiku, in a statement he personally signed asked the NBC to drop the penalty against the station, describing the reason given for its action as an attempt to gag the media in the country.

Atiku also disagreed with the nation’s broadcasting regulatory agency with its argument that the interview that the station had with a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, constituted any infringement and exposed the media outfit to trading in hate speech.

He argued that whether or not, what Mailafia during the programme aired on the radio station was a false claim, it was not the responsibility of the NBC to impose a sanction for a comment made by an individual.

Atiku added that the former CBN deputy governor had been quizzed and released by law enforcement agents, saying that they were at liberty to prosecute him in court if they were not satisfied with his explanations.

He insisted that it was wrong to make a scapegoat of the media platform which provides opportunities for citizens to ventilate their views.

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The former vice president, however called on the NBC to review the hate speech prohibition code, noting that the interpretation of same was offensive to the notion of free speech

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Ooni Condemns Big Brother Naija, Suggests Replacement

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The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II  on Wednesday condemned the prominent Big Brother Naija reality show which he said has been misrepresenting the goodness of the Nigerian youths.

Ooni who doubles as Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) also offered a suggestion for a reality show which will project the country’s values, charging leaders of the National Youth Council of Nigeria to work out plans on the show which will be called, “The Big Nigeria Reality Show”.

According to the monarch, “Nigerian youths are found of accusing and abusing our leaders, stop abusing them and do your bits. Let’s wear our thinking caps and begin to act like real leaders that we are.

“In the last general election, the total number of vote cast is around 27 million while over 170 million people voted during the 2019 Big Brother 9ija reality show. This is a practical reality of who Nigerian youths are and where our priorities lies as Nigerians

“The funny side in all of these is that we still go to bed, have a good sleep and wake up with the hope to meet a Nigeria we didn’t create. Nigerians Youths! Nigerians Youths!! Nigerians Youths!!!

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“Unfortunately, every time I talk about this kind of attitude, everyone just laugh and moves on. What kind of nation are we building?

“When people say this country, or what kind of country is this, they are indirectly saying these people – it is the people that make a country; so what kind of Nigerian youths are we?” , the Ooni queried.

Ooni added, “The proposed show will be structured in a way that young professionals, talented individuals and others across several field of endeavour will be showcased and helped to reach their peak. This would help the participants and also help viewers to have access to people that can be seen as role models”.

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