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COVID-19: PTDAN cautions members on social distancing

Petroleum tanker drivers will have to adhere to the government directives on personal hygiene and social distancing or risk facing stiff penalties.

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Petroleum tanker drivers to observe social distancing or else…

Petroleum tanker drivers will have to adhere to the government directives on personal hygiene and social distancing or risk facing stiff penalties.

The National Chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association of Nigeria, Salimon Oladiti said this on a phone interview with the Sunrise on Channels TV, Sunday morning.

According to him, there will be a task force presence across locations in the country to ensure that the petroleum tanker drivers are fully kitted with gloves, sanitizers and nose masks.

He said, “being of essential services to this nation, we have directed all our members across the country that they should be fully kitted with gloves, sanitizers and nose masks.

“As from Monday, any of our members that do not comply with this directive will not be allowed to enter any petroleum depot in the country, and we already have a task force to ensure full compliance”.

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He added that in line with the social distancing directives, tanker drivers would only be allowed to carry one person along, either an auxiliary driver or a motor boy.

“We have a taskforce spread across the country to enforce this directive. It is a task that must be done to ensure the safety of our lives and our people,” he stated.

(READ MORE: Petrol: Fuel marketers call for increase in margins) 

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Over the weekend, several states have activated lockdown on their land borders, restricting entry of vehicles in order to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The only exceptions to this lockdown are vehicles transporting petroleum products or food items.

Also speaking about the COVID-19 and transportation on Sunrise, Former commissioner for transport, Lagos state Mr. Kayode Opeifa, urged Lagosians to adhere to the social distance principles to avoid a total lockdown.

If we don’t want a lockdown, we have to respect the social distance.  

“Most persons I spoke to at Apapa are still thinking of this virus as a rich man’s disease because of the people infected so far. But they forget that the person who work in the rich man’s kitchen can also get infected” he said.

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He commended the police force for taking steps to enforce the directives in Lagos but added that enforcement must be stepped up to avoid an astronomical growth of the numbers.

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“A survey will show that some are complying and some are not complying. The transportation sector is the most important place to enforce social distancing because so far this is the only way to stop it.  

“Passengers should be made to understand that as soon as they see the buses overcrowded, they should alight or they will be forced to do so at the next stop” he stated.

(READ MORE: Covid-19: Tinubu asks FG to print more naira notes, outlines economic measures)

Why does this matter

The Lagos state government had issued a directive to commercial bus drivers to only fill their buses to 60% of its potential passenger capacity, in order to avoid overcrowding and to stop the spread of the COVID-19.

They are also supposed to provide handwashing equipment and hand sanitizers for passengers to use before boarding the buses.

However, this directive has not seen full compliance from the commercial drivers, as some still default.

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By the evening of Saturday, March 28, Lagos has 59 confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

HealthPlus has made a formal complaint to the Police following its ensuing battle with Alta Semper.

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HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

Nigerian Pharmacy Chain, HealthPlus Ltd which is in a battle for control with private equity firm Alta Semper Capital took a new twist as Health plus reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.

In a letter sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the 25th of September, HealthPlus stated, “We had the presence of unknown persons around our head office locations.”

READ: FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone

The locations stated were 4 HealthPlus branches in Lekki, Lagos.

HealthPlus stated further, “We are aware that there are unauthorized and illegal plans by certain persons to take over our company premises to steal sensitive company property and assets, and ultimately take over operations of the company”

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The 4 persons mentioned by HealthPlus are; Zachary Fond and Ivan Genadiev (both Alta Semper Directors), Ernest Eguasa, CFO of company and an unidentified middle-aged white man.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data 

Niarametrics reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.

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However, the announcement set off a chain of allegations and counter-accusations, including online media mudslinging with both sides trying to court public sympathy for who is in control of the company.

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FG to revitalize rice farms in rice producing regions

The Minister stated that rice production is expected to increase as the government continues to revitalize rice farmers.

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The Federal Government has stated that Rice Farms in Anambra State and other regions will be revitalized to boost rice production, create jobs and also improve the living standard of the people in the State and the region.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, during the assessment of Federal Government Rice Farms/Mills in Omor and Umerum in Anambra State.

Given the importance of rice as a staple in Nigeria, the Minister stated that the Federal Government is taking steps to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, and this is evident in the policies of the government in achieving food and nutrition security, import substitution and promotion of inclusive economic growth across all sectors of the economy.

READ: CBN says 22 banks to restructure over 35,000 loans due to COVID-19

Government Policy Interventions in Agriculture and Rural Development has helped to develop the rice sector, and these interventions include the provision of farm inputs such as agrochemicals, organic fertilizers, knapsack sprayers, planting & harvesting equipment such as reapers, mini combine harvesters, threshers at a subsidized rate in order to increase productivity.

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The Minister added that these policies have not only increased the quantity of rice produced annually but interventions through the provision of modern rice milling machines to small/medium scale processors, has also helped to improve the quality of Nigeria milled rice to international standard.

READ: New PIB amends royalties by oil firms as Sylva clarifies position on scrapping of NNPC

However, Nigeria’s rice consumption still holds higher than production, but government interventions through myriads of policies have increased rice production from 4.8 million metric tons of milled rice in 2015 to over 6 million metric tons by 2019 with a huge reduction in the nation’s deficit.  Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri explained that production is expected to increase as the government continues to revitalize rice farmers.

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Shehuri said that ”the Ministry has established 23 Paddy Aggregation Centers nationwide to aggregate and store paddy. The centres were given to members of the Paddy Dealers Association of Nigeria (PRIDAN) under the public-private partnership arrangement”.

READ: How to register for FG’s N75 billion MSME survival funds

In like manners, there will be the dissemination of modern rice production and processing technologies, through capacity building of farmers and processors directly and also in conjunction with the international donor agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German International Cooperation (GIZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Competitive Africa Rice Initiative (CARI), AfricaRice.

He reiterated that the Ministry is currently responding to the challenges of food availability posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting smallholder farmers nationwide with various inputs including certified seeds of improved varieties of food crops such as rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, orange-flesh sweet potato, groundnut cowpea, soybean, yam, as well as cash crops like cashew, cocoa, sesame, oil palm, gum Arabic. Others include herbicides, pesticides and agricultural machinery such as rice reapers, transplanters, power tillers motorized sprayers and processing equipment.

These interventions are expected to alleviate the effect of the pandemic on farmers and ensure that they keep producing food for the country.

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Just in: FG declares Thursday October 1, public holiday

Thursday, October 1, has been declared a public holiday by FG

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The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, 2020, as a public holiday to mark the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee while giving assurances of the government’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

This disclosure was contained in a statement which was issued on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, and titled, ‘FG Declares Thursday, October 1, 2020, Public Holiday to Mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary’ and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to the statement, the minister praised Nigerians for the feats in the economy, education, the creative sector, amongst others.

The statement also quoted Aregbesola as saying, “Though celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.”

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It added, “While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.”

 

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