Despite the spread of coronavirus forcing other world leaders to impose a travel ban on travellers coming in or going out their countries or limiting entry access, the Nigerian government says it has no plan to take such decision, thereby, opening Nigeria’s airspace to flights from countries with reported cases of coronavirus outbreak.
The decision of the Federal Government was revealed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire today while providing updates on the coronavirus in Nigeria. According to him, measures are in place to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria, but a travel ban was not one of the immediate methods being considered.
Globally, world leaders have been banning flights from countries experiencing high cases of coronavirus. The United States, Canada, Israel, China, India and Italy have restricted travelling into their countries. Also, Uganda has placed travel restriction on countries like the UK, US, China and other affected nations.
This was done to stop further spread of the virus but while briefing foreign diplomats on the readiness of Nigeria to tackle coronavirus, Ehanire said, “There was no immediate reason for now to impose a travel ban.”
He explained that Nigeria was following the coronavirus containment guideline of the World Health Organisation. Nigeria is one of the countries with fewer cases of coronavirus. The only confirmed case is that of the Italian man who was diagnosed to have coronavirus a day after arriving in Nigeria.
Ehanire’s statement raises cause for concern because most of the reported cases of coronavirus in Africa (about 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa) have been from people who travelled into the countries mentioned. The following are cases of coronavirus reported in Africa as of March 11:
- Algeria 20;
- Senegal 4;
- Togo 1;
- Cameroon 2;
- Nigeria 2;
- South Africa 7;
- Burkina Faso 2;
- DRC 1;
- Egypt 59;
- Tunisia 5; and
- Morocco 2.
Apart from the danger, it poses to life, coronavirus has affected Nigeria and other countries economically. The impact of coronavirus on trade has affected Nigeria due to the country’s close ties with China where the virus started before spreading globally. Coronavirus is also one of the reasons the Federal Government want to review its 2020 N10.59 trillion budget.
PIB and Electoral Amendment Bill pass second reading in House of Reps
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act Amendment Bill has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
This was disclosed by Channels TV on Tuesday after both bills were addressed by Lawmakers for the second time during plenary.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill
Rep leader, Alhassan Doguwa, said the PIB has been in the pipeline since the firth assembly and hopes the 9th Assembly would be able to pass the bill.
Chairman of the House Committee on Upstream Petroleum, Musa Adar, stated that Nigeria needs the PIB, as it does not have the luxury to be irresponsible with resources. Citing the effects of the pandemic on the economy, he added that Nigeria’s needs a mature oil industry that will maximize productivity and compete with other crude oil and gas exporting nations in the continent.
Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the PIB is a necessity, as the world is going green and Nigeria needs to maximize its oil and gas sector, and also explore other options.
“The world is looking to go green in less than 20 years and it makes it pertinent for Nigeria to gain maximally from the oil sector and look to explore other oil products before petroleum goes obsolete as a commodity,” he said.
(READ MORE: The new PIB may scrap DPR, PPRA, others)
On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill
The purpose of the Bill is to regulate the Electoral process across Federal and Local government levels, in order to give it more transparency.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Aishatu Dukku (APC-Gombe). She added that the bill is necessary to fix Nigeria’s flawed electoral system.
“This amendment has become necessary because of the flaws observed in our electoral system. It’s no longer news that our electoral experiences since 1999 show a strong correlation between an efficient and effective electoral legal framework and the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections.
“In fact, amendments of our electoral laws were long identified as priority legislation by the National Assembly, because of the need to consolidate on the gains of our democratic achievements and to also address the lacuna identified in the electoral legal framework.
“A typical example is the case of the Kogi Governorship election in 2016, where a leading candidate died after the commencement of polls, but before the declaration of results.
“In addition to this are concerns that the legal framework on certain issues should be well settled ahead of the 2023 elections, such as the use of technological devices like the card reader and electronic voting system.
“Also, criteria for substitution of candidates, disclosure of the source of funds contributed to political parties, replacement of lost or destroyed permanent voters card, the penalty for the possession of fake voters’ card, dates for conducting primary elections, shall not be earlier than 150 days and not later than 120 days before the date of the election, etc.
“The bill, therefore, seeks to address many loopholes in our electoral system by way of amending over 300 clauses (including new provisions) of the Electoral Act 2010,” she said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last week that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may be passed into law by the first quarter of 2021.
“There is no better way of diversifying the country’s economy than through a well-developed oil and gas industry, particularly with the huge gas resources in Nigeria. So, PIB will be the most credible attempt towards a holistic diversification of the Nigerian economy,” he added.
House of Representative Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, also disclosed that the House would ensure that it passes the Petroleum Industry Bill within the next six months or probably less.
#EndSARS: States affected by violence should get 1% VAT – Senate
The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to give states that were affected by lootings and destruction by hoodlums after the anti-police brutality protests, 1% of all Value Added Tax (VAT).
This motion was moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey on Tuesday and disclosed in a report by Channels TV.
What you should know
After the lootings and destruction by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests, Nairametrics reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized in the process.
The Senators moving the motion declared that destruction caused in Lagos by hoodlums was valued at a range of over N1 trillion by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Senator Gershom Bassey also revealed that hoodlums attacked federal properties in Calabar like the WAEC office and looted food warehouses in the state.
“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over the years,” Bassey disclosed.
Senator Sani Musa said the lootings which started in Lagos spread to other states, leading to the destruction of properties and urged for the FG’s assistance.
“#EndSARS came as a peaceful protest, but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate. The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility,” Musa said.
Budget proposal review of MDAs is a legislative right – Femi Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila has stated that the budget review on MDAs conducted by the House of Assembly is a right of the National Assembly.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that the budget review on MDAs conducted by the House of Assembly is a right of the National Assembly. He added that the House of Assembly has the constitutional right to ask questions on MDA budgets.