*Aircrafts to be deployed to decontaminate the country
*WAEC, NECO examininations postponed indefinitely – Nwajiuba
*Govwrnors who applied to fly abroad were denied clearance, says Hadi Sirika.
*Substance abuse next most dangerous problem in Nigeria – Boss Mustapha
By Emma Okereh and Ralph Ezepue
Government yesterday raised the alarm, that some unscrupulous people were selling fake covid-19 vaccines in Kano.
Ministre for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who made the disclosure, stated that “the vaccine is yellow in colour and not approved by NAFDAC”.
He said only vaccine is advocacy, treatment and intervention.
He also warned broadcast media houses of severe sanctions where they bring in panelists for any programme and failed to respect all shades of interests and opinion.
Although he was unable to expatiate, the Minister said the ministry was carrying out agressive public enlightenment campaign on the pandemic, despite 95% rating in that aspect by international pooling agencies.
He classified journalists as frontier “worriors” in the fight against covid-19, stressing that just as health and aviation workers, it will not be out of place to take up the matter of providing insurance cover and palliatives for journalists, adding that the media (public and private) have been largely cooperative to the government in striving to contain the pandemic legacy and described them as heroes in the fight.
The Minister for Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said the federal government was training people in all local government areas in the country on decontamination, stressing that already some aircrafts and supports have been designated for aerial decontamination of the country.
He said there appreciable synergy between his ministry and the Ministry of Water Resources to maintain the quality and integrity of water throughout the country.
The Minister of State for Education, Chief Emeka Nwajiuba, on his part announced indefinite suspension of resumption of School, especially the Senior Secondary School Certificate examinations.
He also said government was working with NECO and states being funded through UBEC, to set up facilities for passing on academic learning for all the students in all classes in the federation.
He encouraged the various SUBEBs to do what is possible within the resources available to them, as well as tertiary institutions to queue in to the facilities already made available by all the telecom service and content providers.
Aware that facilities are not available to everybody, the Minister appealed to parents to provide guidance to their children to follow the time table already structured by the various states.
He called on Nigerians to provide information on gaps noticed in access to the educational platforms, saying government is mindful of the impact in increasing out-of-school children.
He said aware that several people are limited by their ability to access light, his ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to assist with providing terrestrial sources for access to the educational programmes.
He said they have worked out with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in palliatives for vulnerable school children.
The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunimbe Memorandum, appealed to Nigerians asking for mass testing for covid-19 to be patient, as efforts were being made by NCDC to increase the number of laboratories from 13 it is currently and urged people to voluntarily turn up to be tested.
He also said it has become inevitable to change strategy and ramp up activities as a result of great number of people reported to have been infested in our communities.
He also said the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and other relevant agencies are verifying claims of people regarding inventions around covid-19, but expressed worry that some of the claimants are not forthcoming.
On Lassa Fever, he said there is no longer upsurge of the disease which is why nobody is talking about that.
He also hinted plans by the government to increase support for Kano state due to upsurge in covid-19 infections.
The Minister said testing for health working would be both routine and suggestive, adding that under the guideline, health workers who come in contact with covid-19 patients go into isolation for minimum of 14 days as required.
Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on covid-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said the stay-at-home order would continue until we overcome dangerous phases of the pandemic.
On several deaths reported in Kano, he said they were making assessment of the situation, adding that a Rapid Response Team have been despatched to the state.
The Minister for Ministerial Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, said government has introduced BVN and mobile networks to identify vulnerable people in the society, saying it would be faster and more transparent.
She also dismissed video in circulation of a lady claiming two members of her family benefitted from the palliative cash transfer, stressing that with the data at her disposal, “it is almost impossible for same members of one household to get the intervention”.
She added that palliatives approved by the president is for two months.
She further said the ministry has deployed over 300 metric tonnes of the approved 70,000 metric tonnes of grains for three states and FCT, assuring that it is impossible to deploy the entire approved grain reserves in one fell swoop.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika explained that the witnessing of Airforce jets in Abuja were from the Armed Forces who would be celebrating their day tomorrow, assuring that only approved flights connected with covid-19 would be permitted.
He also said only people approved to fly privately would be permitted to do so, pointing out that five governors who had applied to fly out were denied.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said he is not aware of cries of Nigerians in prison in Tanzania, pointing out that he will contact the High Commissioner in the country for clarification. Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Task Force, Alhaji Boss Muatapha, explained they were collating reports from states and the World Health Organisation (WHO), before any preliminary report can be submitted to the President.
He urged Nigerians to submit reports of maltreatment by security agencies to the Task Force, stressing that no Nigerian should be maltraeted for whatever reason.
He promised that after covid-19 the country would have stepped up it’s inventions and manufacturing, but that such must go through proper certification and scrutiny.
“Covid-19 has given us opportunity to go into manufacturing and innovation and I am sure that after covid-19, Nigeria will never be the same gain in this regard,” he said.
Mustapha said issue of substance abuse which has escalated during this covid-19 is being addressed, saying it is one of the most dangerous wars that the country which must be dealt with after the pandemic.