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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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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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COVID-19:  ‘I took black seed oil, black seed, alligator pepper, bitter-cola’ – Oyo  commissioner narrates his isolation experience

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Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun has expressed fear that despite unrelenting campaign to sensitize the people on safety regulations against the Covid-19 pandemic, many still went about without fear of contracting the virus.

 

Olatubosun stated this while answering questions on his experience during his self-isolation period at his office on Wednesday afternoon, saying the State’s Covid-19 Task Force toured over 600 communities in the State to sensitize people about the dangers of the virus and how to avoid contacting it.

 

He said the task force thereafter embarked upon community testing, which revealed that most people in the rural communities did not heed the warnings and have been infected already, as the results from communities showed.

 

“You would not believe that while I was on self-isolation at home, some people still came to my house on Sallah day to celebrate with me, they did not fear at all, I had to send emissary to them on phone with gifts and asked them to go home, it was that bad.

 

“We preached the dangers of Covid-19 at all nooks and crannies of the State, we toured 600 rural communities like the holy prophets did, but our people did not heed the warning in time, which led to the outburst of the disease in rural areas at a point, but thank God the curve has slowed and we now have insignificant numbers coming from the rural areas.”

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Dr Olatubosun said the State government has perfected what he called risk communication approach to fight people’s apathy to the danger inherent in getting infected with Corona virus.

 

He said the approach would consider communicating major consequences of not following Covid-19 safety protocols, which he said will entail the use of visuals, voices and graphics to showcase testimonial cases of people that earlier showed apathy and later contracted the disease.

 

On how he survived the virus and psychological effects of the 56 days self-isolation, the ex-council boss said despite that he was asymptomatic of the virus and endured six tests before being certified to be negative.

 

He opined that although the world has not come out with a vaccine against the virus, the standard World Health Organization (WHO)’s medical recommendation for treatment was abiding, but for Nigerians, supplementing the orthodox medicine with local herbs helped him a lot to recover.

 

“I took 25 bottles of black seed oil, a bowl of black seed, a lot of alligator pepper and bitter-cola as well as different brands of herbal concoctions which I drank at interval and used for steaming after my normal drugs, but the utmost is prayer to overcome the trauma.”

 

Olatubosun praised Governor Seyi Makinde as a worthy war commander that never abandoned his soldiers no matter their conditions, adding that the governor would call him in the morning and in the evening everyday to know his condition throughout his self-isolation days.

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He said the efforts of the State helped mitigate the spread of the pandemic and infection as the State had 95% recovery rate.

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President Buhari finalises Nigeria’s membership in African Trade Insurance Agency

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Nigeria becomes a full member country at an opportune time. It joins ahead of others that are fast-tracking membership given the trade and investment insurance challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and also recognizing the potential post pandemic opportunities.

  • Nigeria contributed US$14.1 million to ATI’s capital in 2019 with African Development Bank’s (AfDB) financial support and fully completed its membership process through the ratification of the ATI’s Treaty.
  • Membership in ATI provides African countries with additional trade and investment insurance capacity, which helps cushion against the negative economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • ATI expects an estimated US$138 million in additional capital from prospective new shareholders in the coming months.

This week, President Buhari signed the instrument of ratification to the African Trade Insurance Agency’s (ATI) treaty. This finalises Nigeria’s membership in ATI in a process that began some years ago. Membership in ATI allows Nigeria to attract additional insurance capacity to help attract investments and it also increases ATI’s capacity to support sovereign and commercial transactions in the country. Ultimately, Nigeria benefits because effective risk mitigation is vital to increasing investments and trade flows.

Nigeria’s membership comes at a critical time for the economy as a sharp drop in oil prices due to a COVID-related one-third decrease in demand, has impacted the country’s spending plans. The IMF predicts that falling oil prices will halve Nigeria’s export earnings to US$26 billion, which traditionally accounts for 90% of the government’s budget.

ATI is well positioned to support African countries through the pandemic. In the last three years, ATI has helped crowd-in nearly US$3 billion of investments to several African countries. With ATI’s sovereign and sub-sovereign credit wrap solutions, governments and state owned enterprises have been able to obtain competitively priced and longer-term financing.

In Nigeria, ATI has already provided significant support in the country’s oil and gas sector covering oil traders as well as in the financial sector insuring financial institutions.

“As one of the largest economies in Africa with a vibrant private sector, ATI looks forward to working with the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, local financial institutions and corporate traders to support Nigeria’s economic diversification plans and its post-COVID recover.” noted Benjamin Mugisha, ATI’s Chief Underwriting Officer.

As an important strategic partner, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has played a significant role in funding the membership participation of several African countries. Between 2010 and 2020, AfDB has provided US$70 million to fund the shareholding of seven African governments – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

In the coming months, five countries are expected to become fully-fledged members while an existing member state indicated its intention to increase its capital contribution. These countries will cumulatively benefit from US$91 million in financial support from the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, which is ATI’s other strategic partner.

Furthermore, the recently held General Meeting approved three new membership applications worth US$47 million, demonstrating ATI’s ability to mobilize international support to implement its development mandate and support African countries’ economic recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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