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Panic as Monkeypox Hits Lagos, Others

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Two suspected cases of Monkeypox have been recorded in Lagos State, according to Dr. Jide Idris, commissioner for Health in the state.

 

Idris, on Monday, said that “Though no confirmed case has been recorded, there is need to sensitise members of the public and provide adequate information on measures for prevention and control of the disease in line with the policy of the state government.”

 

Idris, said the two suspected cases were recorded in a private hospital which he did not name and added that one of the suspected cases just came from Bayelsa State and ate bush meat.

 

Idris said the two suspected cases had been quarantined in their various houses pending the result of the investigation.

 

The commissioner said in the wake of this outbreak, the government was reiterating the need for members of the public to observe and maintain a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease to the State.

 

He urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspected case of the disease to the nearest public health facility or the Directorate of Disease Control in the Ministry of Health.

 

“Also, health workers are advised to practise universal safety precautions in the management of suspected or confirmed cases, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when attending to cases, wash hands after each contact with patient or contaminated materials while surveillance system must be strengthened.

 

“The state government has mobilised the Disease Surveillance Officers in the 57 LGAs and LCDAs in the state and health workers in both public and private health facilities have been placed on high alert,” Idris said.

 

Idris called on residents to remain calm and go about their businesses without fear as the government had put in place adequate measures to effectively prevent and control the spread of the infection to the state.

 

“In case of any suspected case of Monkey Pox, the Lagos State Ministry of Health should be notified through the following mobile lines: 08037170614, 09087106072,” the commissioner said.

 

Elsewhere, Monkey pox, which started with an index case in Bayelsa on September 22, has spread to six other states, including Lagos.

 

There are 31 cases, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said.

 

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, national coordinator/CEO, NCDC listed the states as Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Cross River.

 

He said samples had been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation.

 

Said Ihekweazu: “It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkey pox, but all are being    investigated.”

 

He said all the suspected   cases were receiving medical care and the patients improving clinically in their    various states.

 

Ihekweazu said the centre had activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak  investigation and response across the affected states.

 

“The EOC is currently supporting state ministries of Health in their response to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. Measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing to enable laboratory confirmation. Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. All 36 states and the FCT have been notified for preparedness,” he explained.

 

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FG May Include Telcos, ICT Firms in Forex Priority List

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Technology and telecommunications companies may become the latest addition to the forex priority list of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications

 

Shittu, said there are ongoing talks with the CBN to achieve this.

 

He was speaking while inaugurating the ICT, Computers/Devices Service Centre in Abuja.

 

During 2016 recession, the CBN had created a forex priority list to conserve forex and ensure that the same is available for important parts of the economy.

 

Shittu was represented at the event by John Emeawa, director of planning, research and statistics (PRS) at the ministry.

 

“In this regard, I will proudly say that Nigeria has an array of young people with great energies and creative abilities to launch Nigeria into the league of world leading economies by leveraging on ICTs,” he said.

 

The minister said the Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) collaborated with the ministry and its agencies in establishing the centre to ensure a competent workforce.

 

“Our collaboration with CCMON is intended to transform and build the capacity of the workforce in digital literacy and in preparation for a full implementation of the National e-Government masterplan.

 

“ICT Roadmap and also equip benefitting tech-savvy youths with entrepreneurial and job creation skills.

 

“I am happy to inform you that the Computer Service Center aligns with the implementation of the federal government’s Local Content Initiative.”

 

Shittu said the centre will support all systems bought in the public service, saying it was a pilot project of the ministry with plans to be replicated in every MDAs to provide after sales and services support.

 

“Such after sales support will ensure that computers bought by the government are duly maintained. This will stop all incidents of breakdowns and malfunctioning of computers used for government business.

 

“Consequently, the centre is for skills acquisition of staff that will provide services to various MDAs.

 

“The programme, therefore, will save costs for government and eliminate huge maintenance costs in government IT infrastructure.

 

“I wish to state that our ministry will continue to support CCMON as well as other equipment manufacturers to provide policy direction, who may wish to set up an assembly plant in Nigeria in the future.”

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Electricity Workers Threaten to Shut Power, Demand Sack of TCN MD

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Electricity workers threaten to shut power, demand sack of MD – Electricity workers yesterday in Abuja threatened to shut down power, unless the Federal Government sacks Usman Mohammed, managing director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)

 

The workers, under the auspices of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), are accusing Mohammed of high handedness and anti-labour practices.

 

The union threatened to ground the entire power structure, if the government refused to heed its advice to relief the managing director of his appointment.

 

The workers’ threat followed the alleged administrative irregularities and high handedness of the Mohammed-led management.

 

TCN emerged from the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), following the merger of the Transmission and Operations sectors on April 1, 2004.

 

TCN represents one of the 18 unbundled business units under the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and was issued a transmission licence on July, 1, 2006.

 

The development prompted workers of the organisation to picket the TCN premise where they disrupted vehicular and commercial activities for several hours.

 

The workers, who spoke through Umar Abubakar, SSAEAC’s general secretary, accused Mohammed of allegedly flouting most of the administrative procedures, which they claimed were inimical to their welfare.

 

According to them, the MD allegedly single handedly conducted examinations for staff due for promotion without recourse to input from other management staff.

 

They alleged that the MD had defaulted in remitting taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), a development that also led to the sealing of the organisation even before the workers staged their protest.

 

The workers also claimed the MD had hijacked some funds provided by the World Bank for projects in the power sector, including his alleged interference in union activities by his attempt to polarise the union.

 

They also alleged that the MD cleared a large consignment of electrical materials from foreign donors at the ports but failed to deliver same to the warehouse of the organisation for proper accountability, before distribution to the relevant sections.

 

The protesters said efforts by Sen. Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Employment, and Babatunde Fashola, his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, to intervene in the matter, proved abortive as Mohammed failed to turn up in several meetings.

 

“Our grievances stem from the fact that the MD on his own handled the promotion exercise and started to conduct it in his own way through the aid of consultants that to us is not the ideal process.” the angry worker said.

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LSETF & Coca-Cola System Sign MoU to Empower 1,000 Women under Coca-Cola 5by20 Programme

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The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company on Wednesday signed a partnership agreement to empower 1,000 women in Lagos State.

 

Through this partnership framework the selected women will receive training in financial literacy and business skills as well as start-up capital to integrate them into the Coca-Cola value chain as retailers of the Company’s beverage products.

 

This partnership is anchored on Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Programme which is the Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the its value chain by 2020.

 

Akintunde Oyebode, representing Lagos State Employment Trust Fund at the MoU signing ceremony, stated that LSETF’s mandate is aimed at creating an enabling environment for Lagos residents to realize their business aspirations by providing leverage & access to finance for them to thrive, while ensuring employment and innovative opportunities for all residents of the state.

 

He said that” partnership with an organisation such as Coca-Cola assures us that we are working in the right direction and strengthens our commitment to building entrepreneurs within the state.

 

“We understand that to empower a woman, is to empower a whole generation.

 

“We will continue to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women as they seek to start or expand their businesses; because when we do, we create wealth and employment that alleviates poverty.”

 

Mr Bhupendra Suri, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, reiterated the company’s commitment saying, “Now more than ever, we are certain of our commitment to the well-being of our communities, a critical part of which are our women.

 

“As pillars of their communities, women invest a sizable portion of the income they earn on the health and education of their children and in their local economies, creating a tremendous economic impact.

 

“Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is our partner of choice for this initiative considering our shared vision on women empowerment and its vast network across the State.”

 

He further stated that realizing the vision of enabling the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020 depends on building scalable models and powerful partnerships, across business, civil society and government, which is vital to maximizing the impact of their programs and making them more sustainable.

 

Mrs Sade Morgan, Legal and Public Affairs Communication Director, Nigeria Bottling company, in agreement, said, “As a part of The Coca-Cola System, we understand the importance of partnerships.

 

“Our business and its growth in Nigeria are a result of strategic partnerships with distributors, retailers and our consumers.

 

“Whenever there is a call to collaborate for sustainable impact, we ensure we are there to support it with our expertise.

 

“We will work to position each beneficiary in strategic locations that are profitable and link them up to our distribution network, so that the ripple effect of individual growth can be felt across our society.”

 

Coca-Cola and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company, will provide access to Coca-Cola trade assets (including coolers, tables, umbrellas and Coca-Cola beverage products); peer networks, funds for training and support beneficiaries in the set-up of retail outlets in commercially viable locations; linking them to the nearest Coca-Cola distributors.

 

LSETF will fund the trade assets and co-fund the programme implementation while also leading the identification and recruitment of participants to the programme.

 

This timely and welcome public private partnership is the second one between Lagos State Government and Coca-Cola System, the first one having been launched in 2012 and has so far empowered 300 women in the State.

 

 

 

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