Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki, Magnus Eze, Enugu, Aloysius Attah, Onitsha, Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha, Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi, Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly, yesterday, donated their April salaries to the state committee on anti- coronavirus as their contribution to the fight against the virus.
The Assembly is comprised of 24 -members. In a motion under matters of urgent public importance by member representing Onicha East and Deputy Speaker, Odefa Obasi and seconded by the member representing Ezza South constituency, Chris Usulor, the House unanimously voted in support of the forfeiture of the April salary to the anti-COVID 19 committee.
The lawmakers commended the state government for the steps taken to stop the virus from entering the state. It also passed into law a bill for a Law to combat and stop the spread of coronavirus and other infectious diseases in Ebonyi State and other matters connected thereto (HAB 05, 2020).
Some citizens of the state have taken to the social media to commend the lawmakers for the donation, even as they urged them not to stop at that, but to ensure that they visit their constituencies to give relief materials to people.
ESUTH nurses protest lack of working materials
Members of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANMM) at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, (ESUTH) Parklane, yesterday, protested the non availability of working materials in the hospital.
Daily Sun gathered that the protest staged by majority of nurses on duty was spontaneous and not planned by the union.
The aggrieved nurses chanted songs around the hospital square saying “No working materials for nurses.”
Secretary of NANNM in Enugu, Mrs. Phyllis Uzokwe, told Daily Sun that the action was triggered on the spur of the moment as nurses who resumed for work became dissatisfied with the work tool in the hospital, especially the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“The association is totally in support of the action taken by our members in Parklane. We gathered that what actually happened was that people came to work and hadn’t the required equipment to work with. What happened was not a planned action as even the leadership of NANNM in Parklane was not aware of it. So, we cannot continue exposing our nurses to all kinds of risks especially at this period of COVID-19. Therefore, we categorically support their demand for ‘No PPE, no work,” Uzokwe said.
Group knocks Anambra over N1bn claim
International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has faulted claims by the Anambra state government that it has spent N1 billion in procuring safety items towards fighting COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The group in a statement, yesterday, by its Board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi, alleged that the government was lying to citizens on its investment in equipment to fight COVID-19 and that the outbreak and spread of the virus provided an opportunity for some Nigerians to corruptly enrich themselves.
“Intersociety had issued a detailed statement warning that coronavirus eruption in Nigeria or any part thereof is likely to have become another opportunity for official criminal enrichment and state sadism in the country. This is nothing short of a total vindication of Intersociety. This is more so when the country is led by ‘conflict and disaster profiteers’. I can categorically and expertly tell you that the N1 billion was spent in the moon and not on anti-coronavirus equipment. First, those items mentioned are sold at the Tools & Allied Market and their remainder at its neighbouring surgical market of the Onitsha Niger Bridgehead Central Market.
“No other market sells those equipment in industrial quantity and cheaper anywhere in Anambra or beyond than the Tools & Allied Market. A supply of those items worth N300million will dry all the items in the market, not to talk of N1billion.
“Contrary to claims by the government of Anambra State, nowhere, not even in the warehouse of the State Emergency Management Agency-SEMA, through media enquiries, was found a carton of the said procured items, not to talk of trailer-loads of same that would have equaled the said N1billion purchases. A 40-feet trailer-container worth of the listed items is valued at N20m and N1b, if it is 50 container-loads of 40-feet or 50 trailers,” said Umeagbalasi.
‘UNIZIK VC didn’t test positive to COVID-19’
The Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has debunked the rumour that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone has tested positive to COVID-19.
Acting Head, Information and Public Relations of the University, Ene Gladys Chika in a statement, yesterday, said Prof. Esimone had made no contact with anyone that had tested positive to COVID-19 and that he had not traveled out of the country in the past four months to have contracted the disease.
“The attention of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University has been drawn to the story making the rounds that the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone, tested positive to COVID-19 and has been quarantined. Much as we would not want to join issues with the peddlers of this story, it had become imperative that we make the following clarifications.The vice chancellor has not travelled out of the country in the past four months.
“The vice chancellor has not had contact with anyone who have tested positive to COVID-19 in Nigeria . He partook in the recent convocation ceremonies of the university in sound health and has been discharging his duties in sound health since this year till date,” Chika said.
Compliance in Igbo-Eze North, Eke Ozzi market shut
There was a high level of compliance in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, Enugu State, one of the most thickly populated towns in the state , to the lockdown order which commenced Tuesday evening as part of measures to containing the COVID-19 pandemic .
Chairman of the council, Prince Ejike Itodo had summoned stakeholders, which included traditional rulers, town union executives, councillors, police, civil defence corps, neighbourhood watch among others to a crucial meeting where they all synergised on the best way to implement the government stay at home directive.
Through proper sensitisation and enforcement, he said people of the area compliedand that the most popular Eke Ozzi market in Ogrute didn’t open for business yesterday which was the market day. Only few traders dealing on food items and perishables were allowed to display their goods at the periphery of the market, while maintaining social distancing.
Social functions, like traditional marriages, burials and weddings had been cancelled in the area.
Prince Itodo led security agents in the area in conjunction with his counterpart in Udenu Local Government Area, Solomon Onah to close all border areas which connects the local government with Benue and Kogi states.
Obiano gives tax relief to traders, others in Anambra
Governor Willie Obiano has approved 10 per cent tax relief as stimulus package for traders and business owners in Anambra State.
This is in furtherance of his promise to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of Anambra Inland Revenue Service (AIRS) and Head of Anambra COVID-19 Stimulus Package Sub-Committee, Dr. David Nzekwu.
Nzekwu explained that traders and business owners who will enjoy the stimulus package will receive the refund of 10 per cent of what they paid as Personal Income Tax in 2019.
“The Governor’s directive to the ANSG COVID-19 Stimulus Package Committee is very clear and we are already working out the modalities for the immediate implementation of the stimulus package to the beneficiaries. This is in addition to other incentives, including the provision of relief materials to the elderly and other vulnerable people.
“Anybody who goes about harassing Ndi Anambra over taxes on the streets is an illegal tax collector. Call the police and the authorities when you see such persons. The tax refund is yet another strategic action by the Anambra state government to support the citizens during the period in anticipation of economic downturn that may arise from the Coronavirus pandemic,” Nzekwu said.
MHWUN advocates free, accessible testing kits in Anambra
Worried by the rate at which coronavirus is spreading in the country, a group, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Anambra State, has made a strong case for testing kits to be made available to health facilities in the state. It also called on the state government to employ more health workers in order to increase manpower and productivity in the health sector.
Speaking with Daily Sun in Nnewi, yesterday, chairperson of the group, Chinwe Orizu, underscored the need for the availability of testing kits to enable people know their status.
“Free COVID-19 testing kits must be available and easily accessible across all towns in the state. There is a strong likelihood that there are more infected people than presently identified, due to the low level of testing so far. We are now in a situation where decisive actions must be taken immediately and concrete commitments made to ensure that people’s health are not put in jeopardy,” she said.
Orizu said there was need for the immediate recruitment of more health workers to join existing ones in the fight against COVID-19 even as she urged the government to ensure that the workplace is safe for health workers as first responders.
Ikpeazu lauds Buhari over efforts to contain pandemic
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s for the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Ikpeazu in a broadcast, yesterday, expressed confidence in the capabilities of the Federal Government’s constituted COVID-19 team led by the Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire to effectively contain the virus.
“Let me at this juncture commend the efforts of the Federal Government so far in dealing with the situation and express my confidence in the capabilities of the managers of the pandemic at the Federal level to effectively contain it,” said Ikpeazu
The governor maintained that the state government was doing all that it could to ensure that the state didn’t record any outbreak of COVID-19 through its proactive measures.